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Cynthia Erivo Cancels Performance at BAFTAs Following All-White Nominations List

'I work hard, and every single person of color who is working in these films this year has worked really hard,' the actress says.

Cynthia Erivo recently declined an invitation to perform at this year's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards following an all-White nominations list.

The British-Nigerian actress, who was recently nominated for two Golden Globe awards for her stellar performance in the biopic Harriet and her original song in a motion picture "Stand Up", said that she would not allow herself or her art be used as a "party trick" in the continued dismissal of performances by people of color at prominent awards shows.


It's 2020 and it seems the memo on diversity still hasn't reached everyone.

According to People Magazine, Erivo voiced her disappointment saying, "I felt like [the invitation] didn't represent people of color in the right light. It felt like it was calling on me as an entertainer as opposed to a person who was a part of the world of film, and I think that it's important to make it known that it's not something you throw in as a party trick, you know?"

The actress continued saying that, "I work hard and every single person of color who is working in these films this year has worked really hard, and there are many of them who deserve to be celebrated." The fact that there were no women directors on the nominations list was also a point of contention for the Harriet lead actress.

Following the release of the nominations list, the BBC reports that BAFTA will allegedly carry out a "careful and detailed review" of it's voting process in light of the glaring lack of diversity. Speaking to Variety about the said review, Erivo concluded saying, "Let's see how [the review] does, whether it affects next year or the year after who knows, but I definitely think it's time for change, we can't overlook it any more."

However, BAFTA member and actor Nicholas Young, wrote in a letter to the Daily Telegraph commenting on the issue.

The letter read partially as follows: "As a voting member of Bafta, I take exception to the suggestion that my choices are based on anything other than excellence in each respective field." And so effectively, Young says he voted solely based on excellence and it just so happens that not a single person of color made the cut.

Of course.

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Photo by Michael Kovac/Champagne Collet for Getty Images.

Cynthia Erivo Responds to Stephen King's Tweet on Diversity

The British-Nigerian actress begs to differ with the veteran author's tweet on diversity and 'quality' in this year's Oscar nominations.

British-Nigerian actress Cynthia Erivo has responded to veteran author Stephen King's recent tweets on the issue of diversity and this year's Oscar nominations.

King has been subject to considerable backlash since his controversial tweet about how he would "never consider diversity" when it comes to evaluating art of awards citing that, "It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."

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Still from 'Harriet' trailer.

Watch Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman In the Moving New Trailer for 'Harriet'

The highly-anticipated biopic about the life of the iconic freedom fighter is due out on November 1.

Back in 2017, it was announced that Tony-winning actor and singer Cynthia Erivo would be taking on the role of the iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in the upcoming biopic Harriet. We've been anticipating its release ever since, and today, the trailer for the buzzed about film has finally arrived.

The moving and climactic trailer sees Erivo delivering a convincing performance as Tubman. The film follows the hero's journey from escaping slavery to becoming a legendary abolitionist and freedom fighter. Here's the official description of the film via Shadow & Act:

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
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The Gorillaz Enlist Fatoumata Diawara for New Track 'Désolé

A stunning collaboration that we didn't even know we needed.

The Gorillaz enlist none other than Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for their latest single "Désolé," the second single from the hit-making British band's Song Machine installation project.

"Making Désolé with Fatou was a real moment for me, you know," the band's drummer Russel Hobbs is quoted as saying in a statement via Pitchfork. Désole translates to "sorry" in French, but despite it's apologetic title, the song is a laid-back groove, elevated by vocals from lead singer Damon Albarn and Diawara, who sings in English, French and Bambara.

"She's an African Queen," Russel adds. "This lady made the song what it is, beautiful, like life. What can I say about Désolé? They say sorry is the hardest word, but that's not true.... Try saying antidisestablishmentarianism with a mouth full of gluten free cronuts on a speed boat without licking your lips."

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Diamond Platnumz and Tanasha in "Gere" (Youtube)

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Diamond Platnumz x Tanasha, Sauti Sol, Rayvanny, Sheebah, Victoria Kimani and more.

February has been dominated by familiar voices in East African music.

Here are our picks of the best East African songs of the month featuring Diamond Platnumz, Sheebah, Rayvanny and more.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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