Lupita Nyong’o Criticizes Academy for ‘Unconscious Prejudice’

Lupita Nyong’o has added her voice to the collection of movie professionals who are seriously unhappy at the lack of diversity in the 2016 Academy Awards nominations.

Lupita Nyong'o attends the Marie Claire Image Maker Awards 2016
Lupita Nyong’o attends the 2016 Marie Claire Image Maker Awards Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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The Oscar winner, who won a best supporting actress award in 2014 for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, took to Instagram to express her feelings about the all-white nominee list for this year’s award ceremony.

“I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Award nominations,” the 32-year-old actress wrote. “It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture,” she added.

“The Awards should not dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today,” she went on. “I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and the recognition of the people who tell them.”

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Unlike Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, Nyong’o did not say she had any intention of boycotting this year’s ceremony. But she did add a quote from author James Baldwin on the importance of facing up to difficult subjects.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced,” she wrote.

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Earlier in the day, George Clooney also weighed in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

“If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job,” Clooney wrote in a statement to Variety. “By the way, we’re talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it’s even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it.”

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