Although the controversy surrounding the 88th annual Academy Awards has somewhat blown over, Hollywood’s diversity problems are far from over, says actress and rising youth activist Amandla Stenberg. In a new piece for Interview Magazine’s “The New Progressives” April issue, the The Hunger Games star revealed her plans to use her platform to push for change.
“There are some really valid things in what Jada Pinkett Smith said,” the 17-year-old said of the actress’ decision to skip the 2016 Oscars. “I’m really passionate about representation in film. I feel like the world is dominated by such a small group of human beings. There are so many different kinds of people that aren’t represented, that don’t have characters who look like them.”
In fact, Stenberg disclosed the issue is one of the many reasons she’s headed to New York University’s film school, where she will study movie production, after she graduates high school: “I want to actually tell some of these stories.” Of course, this is no surprise to fans, as the Colombiana star, who created her own comic book about a powerful female warrior just last year, has long been outspoken about Black culture, mainly cultural appropriation.
Later on, Stenberg, who came out as bisexual earlier this year, also reflected about what it means to be part of several minority groups, including being “boxed into this #BlackGirlMagic social activist category.”
“I mean, unfortunately or not unfortunately, take it as you will, when you are a marginalized person or a woman of color and/or someone who’s a part of the LGBTQ community, your acts become politicized, just by being yourself,” she explained. “Because we’re not completely accepting of all different kinds of human beings. So that’s been an interesting dynamic for me to navigate. By being myself, I’m doing something political.”
Stenberg’s recent chatter comes on the heels of her announcement that she landed a lead role in an upcoming film titled The Hate You Give. The film, which is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, is based on a novel by Angela Thomas. Stenberg will take on the role of Starr, a 16-year-old girl who grew up in poverty and now attends a suburban prep school. Starr witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend and must share her testimony in court, which comes with serious challenges and consequences.
Move over Hollywood, Stenberg has officially marked her takeover.