Thanks to her talent, solid work ethic and stunning natural looks, Lupita Nyong’o is a widely celebrated actress and fashion icon. She is also known for her work as a social activist. The Mexican-born Kenyan uses her platform to advocate for women’s rights across the world and greater inclusion in Hollywood.
Throughout her time in the limelight, Lupita has called for more diversity in the film industry on numerous occasions.
Here’s a look at some of the activities and statements that the actress has made promoting inclusion and diversity in Hollywood.
Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon
The stylish actress started her journey to becoming a powerful voice in the push for inclusivity and diversity in the world of entertainment in a 2014 speech. Speaking at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, Nyong’o gave a heartfelt account of her journey to self-acceptance and the need for greater inclusivity in Hollywood.
Lancôme Brand Ambassador
To demonstrate her influence and stature in the entertainment world, Lupita was chosen to be a Lancôme ambassador – the announcement coming a few weeks before the 2014 Academy Awards. With this appointment, she became the first black woman in history to bear the title.
Hollywood Reporter Roundtable
Together with Awkwafina and Jennifer Lopez, the actress participated in a Roundtable event held by The Hollywood Reporter back in 2019. Joined by Laura Dern, Scarlet Johansson, and Renée Zellweger, the group discussed a variety of issues in the entertainment world, women's underrepresentation in Hollywood being chief among them.
In the discussion, the highly accomplished actress recognized the efforts made by women of color in the past when it came to tackling marginalization in the industry. She said, “I’m very grateful to have come into the industry at the time that I have because I am benefiting from the efforts of a lot of other women who have come before me.” She also stated that her hope and goal was to ensure that the current move towards diversity in the entertainment industry would be more than just a trend or fad.
Nyong’o’s Choice of Film Roles
In the past, Nyong’o has stated that since her highly successful Hollywood debut in the film 12 Years a Slave, she has received many invitations to work on various film projects. However, she always prefers to choose projects that have the potential to make a difference – a good example being Black Panther.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress said, “To just have African people, Black people, at the center of that narrative is so exciting.” Simply knowing that the film would be groundbreaking made her accept the invitation to participate even before she had seen the script!
Me Too Movement
In 2017, Nyong’o added her voice to the debate about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry by sharing her personal experience with Harvey Weinstein in a New York Times op-ed. Afterward, she rose to be one of the most vocal participants of the Time’s Up initiative. To ensure equality in the entertainment industry, the actress has actively participated in various marches and other events held in support of the initiative.
Vocal from the Start
Since she burst into the entertainment scene, Lupita Nyong’o has used her platform to work tirelessly in pushing for greater inclusion and diversity in Hollywood.