Harriet star Cynthia Erivo is insisting people of colour be given a "fair shot" in the wake of controversial comments made by Stephen King on diversity.
On Tuesday (14Jan20), the author took to Twitter as discussions continued over the lack of women and actors and artists of colour among the Academy Awards nominations which were announced on Monday.
King wrote, "As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just 3 categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. For me, the diversity issue--as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway--did not come up. That said..."
He then followed up with another tweet, adding, "...I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."
Erivo, who can currently be seen in U.S. network HBO's adaptation of King's novel The Outsider, took issue with his statement during a Television Critics Association panel for the new show on Wednesday, noting the importance of inclusivity and how it can "change the way people think".
She vowed to fight for change in "the way they (entertainment industry) cast things, change the way they line up producers and directors and writers", adding that diverse voices "reflect the world that we live in".
Erivo, the only non-white star to receive a 2020 Oscars nomination in the acting categories, is up for both Best Actress and Best Original Song for Harriet, in which she portrays famed abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman.