Cynthia Erivo is the only woman of color nominated for an acting Oscar at the 2020 Academy Awards.

The British actress and singer played the titular role in the biopic “Harriet” about Harriet Tubman, the American abolitionist responsible for helping free approximately 300 slaves.

No other women of color were nominated for best actress or supporting actress, despite speculation that stars such as Jennifer Lopez of "Hustlers" and Awkwafina of "The Farewell" might win nods. 

This makes Erivo just the 11th black actress to gain a nomination for a leading role in Oscars history. If she wins, it'll make her the second black woman to take an award home after Halle Berry's win for "Monster's Ball" in 2001. 

Besides Erivo, the nominees for best actress were Scarlett Johansson for “Marriage Story," Saorise Roanan for “Little Women”, Charlize Theron for “Bombshell” and Renee Zellwegger for “Judy.”

Johansson was also nominated in the supporting actress category for "Jojo Rabbit" along with Kathy Bates for “Richard Jewell,” Laura Dern for “Marriage Story,” Florence Pugh for “Little Women” and Margot Robbie for “Bombshell.”

Erivo is also nominated for the Best Original Song category for her performance of “Stand Up.” She is only the second woman to be nominated for both a Best Actress and Best Song Oscar, behind Lady Gaga for her work in “A Star Is Born.”

Following her previous accolades that include a Tony for her role in "The Color Purple" on Broadway, both a Grammy for the cast recording and an Emmy for a cast performance of NBC's "Today", Erivo is poised to be the youngest EGOT winner.  

Published on Jan 13, 2020