Actress Lupita Nyong'o says there's an "unconscious prejudice" in the Academy Awards nominations process.
The 32-year-old Mexican who won an Oscar for her role in '12 Years a Slave' in 2014, expressed disappointment in “the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Awards nominations,” which she says “has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture."
Nyong'o made the statements after celebrities called for a boycott of the Academy Awards for failure to nominate a black actor in a major awards category for 2 years in a row.
The actress said the Academy Awards should serve as “a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today."
She said she will “stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who will tell them.”
But others say the Oscars, which is headed by a black female president, should stop caving to pressure by handing out participation trophies to actors based on skin color.
The Academy Awards, which awarded its first golden statuette in 1929, has a long storied history of recognizing stellar cinematic achievements regardless of skin color, sex or age.
Critics say nominations should be handed out to actors who are more deserving, not actors with more melanin in their skin.
Actress Janet Hubert, who starred as the original mom on 1990s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air, blasted actress Jada Pinkett-Smith for boycotting the Oscars.
Pinkett-Smith called for a boycott of the awards show when her husband, Will Smith, did not receive an Oscar nomination.
“Girl please, why are you always speaking for your man?” Hubert said in a video posted on Facebook. “It was the best performance of his career, which says this is the best performance HE has ever done, not necessarily academy worthy.”
Photo: Splash News Online