BAFTA All-White Nominations: Actress Cynthia Erivo Bares Her Mind

The star expresses disappointment over the controversial issue
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Cynthia Erivo is a British actress and singer born to Nigerian parents
is a British actress and singer born to Nigerian parents

Actress and singer has spoken about the controversial all-white nominations list released by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Erivo played the titular character in last year’s Harriet and made her comments on the issue at the red carpet premiere of her new HBO show The Outsider.

The black-skinned star expressed her disappointment at the lack of diversity in the BAFTA nominations list as she noted how beautiful films that were made last year were shunned.

It’s disappointing to see that we’ve got to this point in time and we’ve had such wonderful advancement in inclusion and diversity, and the films this year were beautiful, such wonderful stories told, and to not have that represented in an awards show like the is just disappointing really.

According to Variety, Erivo was asked to perform at the event by the British Academy following her non-inclusion in the nominees’ list but she declined to do so.

She said:

The reason I didn’t perform is because I don’t think it’s proper representation, as a woman of color, of people of color in this industry.

Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo is a British actress, singer, and songwriter born to Nigerian parents on January 8, 1987.


She is widely known for her portrayal of Celie in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple. Her performance won her the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program.

She began her film roles in 2018 in the heist film Widows and the thriller Bad Times at the El Royale. She played the eponymous character in the 2019 biopic Harriet for which she earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.  

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