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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 Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Chinonye Chukwu Will Direct the First Two Episodes of HBO Max's Upcoming 'Americanah' Series

Here's the latest news surrounding the highly-anticipated limited series, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Uzo Aduba and more.

Nigerian-American director Chinonye Chukwu is set to helm the first two episodes of the upcoming limited series Americanah, starring Lupita Nyong'o.

Chukwu is the award-winning filmmaker, behind the critically-acclaimed film Clemency, which won the 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, making her the first Black woman to win the award.

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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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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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