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Cynthia Erivo Breaks Her Silence About Being the Only Black Oscar Nominee

Gettyimages | GEOFF ROBINS
By Ben Robinson III

For the past few years there has been a firestorm of controversy surrounding the Academy Awards, and with good reason. There have been debates about the diversity surrounding the awards ceremony, which premieres its annual iteration this Sunday, February 9 on ABC at 8 PM (EST - check your local listings). Last year there was a huge turmoil when comedian Kevin Hart was supposed to host the show but fell into a huge controversy when old tweets resurfaced that quickly made everyone mad.

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As a solution, the Oscars eventually went on without a host, and ironically it turned out to be one of the best ceremonies in its history. And although there was a moment that started a few years ago when the OscarsSoWhite hashtag came into play the Academy responded in kind by allocating more awards to African Americans and women. However, it must have been a tactic to stave off any more negative press because for the 92nd annual ceremony there is only one black person nominated. British actress Cynthia Erivo.

You may remember Erivo from her turn as Celie in The Color Purple on Broadway, a role in which she secured the coveted Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical. Well, Erivo is now up for two Academy Awards for her role in the biopic of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman's life titled Harriet. She's up for Best Song as well as Best Actress. But the kicker is she's the ONLY black person nominated in any category. And it comes at the most ironic time.

Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

When Erivo took on the role of Harriet Tubman many believed she was the wrong fit for the role because of her English heritage. But she fought hard to let everyone know she wasn't going anywhere and worked tirelessly to win the honor. Now, as she celebrates being the only black actor nominated, Erivo has some things to say. Bustle reports;

In a Hollywood Reporter profile published on Feb. 5, Erivo said it heavily weighs on her that no other actor of color was nominated

As much as it is a time for personal "celebration," she said, "To be in a room and not being able to see other actors [of color] who are nominated, to not be able to share that with another black actress is saddening. I would love to share this moment with someone else."

Erivo has a constant inner struggle going as the only black actor with a nomination, as well as being a performer during the show. She recently turned the BAFTA's down as a performer because of their lack of representation. Many will tune in wondering which award she will win.

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