Lupita Nyong’o Weighs In on Oscars 2016 Controversy: ‘It’s a Symptom of Something Else’

Her take on the talk. Lupita Nyong’o, who won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2014, weighed in on the ongoing diversity controversy affecting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after all of the acting nominees were white for the second consecutive year.

Nyong’o and her 12 Years a Slave costar Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi, were the last actors of color to be nominated for Oscars in 2014.

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Lupita Nyong'o
Nyong’o on the ‘Today’ show

“It’s a symptom of something else,” the Stars Wars: The Force Awakens actress, 32, told the Today show on Wednesday, February 3. “What we are asking for is really for more stories to be told. For inclusion in the stories that are told. I think that it’s good for all of us when we hear a diverse number of stories and are able to experience more diversity. It’s more reflective of the world we live in.”

Nyong’o, who is starring in the Broadway production Eclipsed, previously expressed her frustration about the situation on Instagram. “I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Award nominations,” she wrote. “It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture . . . 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. 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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Lupita Nyong'o
Nyong’o accepts the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role award for ’12 Years a Slave’ during the Oscars in 2014 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Matt Damon, George Clooney and numerous other A-listers have also spoken out about the scandal. In response, the Academy pledged to double its minority and female membership by 2020.

Watch what Nyong’o had to say in the video above.

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