The entertainer Cynthia Erivo has promised to approach her portrayal of the human rights activist Harriet Tubman with grace, kindness and respect for the African-American community.
Her response to criticisms she is facing for taking the role below…
I struggled a little with whether or not to post anything about this role, because even though there is so much celebration and encouragement coming through, there’s also anger and offense spurred on…my being from the UK. I guess there is a bigger conversation to be had about heritage and experience, also about who Harriet really was. That can not be had in an Instagram post, what I will say is that my journey to this woman has been long and detailed and one I have not taking lightly.
Nothing has been given to me without me first putting the work in, people speak of foreign privilege and truthfully life would be unbelievably easy if that were applied to me but that is not my portion. I hope that I do everyone, even those who are in doubt or are upset, proud. I hope to quell your fears, because I understand that is what it is. I cannot tell how protective I am of this woman and her story. I posted this because I can not allow people to make me neglect to celebrate this honor.
Cynthia is the latest Black British performer to find herself at the heart of a conversation asking why Hollywood often asks British actors of African descent to portray African-American characters.
One man with thoughts and feelings on the matter? Samuel L. Jackson.