Harriet star Cynthia Erivo on being the only actor of colour nominated at this year’s Oscars

"It’s not enough that I’m the only one."

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12: Cynthia Erivo attends the 25th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo has responded to being the only actor of colour nominated at this year’s ceremony.


The prolific actress, who already has an Emmy, Grammy and Tony award to her name, gained her Oscar nod yesterday for starring in Harriet, a biopic about the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Speaking to the New York Times, she said: “It’s not enough that I’m the only one. It just isn’t… far too much work was done this year by incredible women and men of colour that should be celebrated.”

The Oscars and the BAFTAs have both been criticised this year for their mostly white list of nominees, which count several high-profile snubs including The Farewell’s Awkwafina and Lulu Wang, Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite is My Name) and Song Kang-ho (Parasite).

This has prompted the return of the #OscarsSoWhite trending term on Twitter, which first established prominence at the time of 2015’s show.

Alongside her acting nomination, Erivo also has a nomination in Best Original Song for Stand Up, which features in Harriet.

She has said that she would perform the song live at the Academy Awards ceremony if she were asked to do so by organisers.


Harriet landed in UK cinemas back in November 2019, with a release on DVD and Blu-ray expected on Monday 30th March 2020.