Amandla Stenberg
Source: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Amandla Stenberg on Representation: Impacting the Industry


Dec. 10 2023, Published 9:46 a.m. ET

When the spear went through Rue’s abdomen in The Hunger Games, a lot of hearts in the theater sank. Not only did Katniss lose her trusted ally, but it also meant that we were no longer going to see Amandla Stenberg in the film.

Amandla was one of the breakout stars in The Hunger Games. It was only her second time on the big screen, her first one being in a relatively unknown French-English film Colombiana. Her performance not only captivated audiences but also led her to win the Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Chemistry Award.

Since then, Amandla has continued progressing in the film industry, and she landed a couple of other big projects. However, it’s also her activism and push for more representation in the industry that’s catching headlines.

Coming Out and Activism

In 2016, Amandla initially came out as a bi-sexual and later said that pan-sexual may be a better term. A few months later, she started using she/her and they/them pronouns, and came out as non-binary. Finally, in 2018, Amandla came out as gay and has stayed that way ever since.

Aside from her acting career, Amandla is also very active in activism. She is an intersectional feminist and was named 2015 Feminist of the Year by the Ms. Foundation for Women. She was also included in Time Magazine’s Most Influential Teens in both 2015 and 2016.

Amandla currently has over 2 million followers on Instagram, and constantly uses her social media presence to push for change. She is especially vocal about LGBTQ+ rights, as well as racial equality, winning the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in 2019, and presenting a speech that resonated deeply with so many BIPOC people.

Amandla’s Career

Aside from playing Rue in The Hunger Games, Amandla has also had a lot of standout performances over her career. She voiced Bia in “Rio 2” in 2014, then went on to make notable appearances in “As You Are” (2016), “Everything, Everything” (2017), “The Hate U Give” (2018), “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (2022), “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (2023), and more.

She won the Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Award from NAACP for her role as Starr Carter in “The Hate U Give,” as well as a nomination for Best Young Actress from the Critics' Choice Movie Award for the same role.

She has also made an appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race as a guest judge during the Snatch Game.

Into the Future

Amandla has a bunch of exciting projects on the way for her fans. The Acolyte, a Star Wars franchise television series is set to release in 2024, and Amandla is part of the cast. She even has a voice role in Wildwood, which is set to release in 2025.

Aside from her projects in film, Amandla is also very involved in the activism scene. She continues to fight for equality both on-screen and off-screen as well. And even though she is still young, she’s already made a big impact in the industry.

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