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Will Lupita Nyong’o Join The Ranks of Those Whose Careers Waned After Oscar Win?

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By Stephanie Allen-Gobert

Oscars or Out-score-us? In the 85 year history of the Academy Awards, black actors and actresses have rarely taken home the famous and coveted Oscar Award. Lupita Nyong’o, the 30 year old breakout star of the acclaimed historical drama 12 Years a Slave, looks poised to become the sixth black winner in the category.

Lupita faced fierce competition in this category with Hollywood’s It girl, Jennifer Lawrence. Most critics see Nyong’o as the new frontrunner, following high profile wins at the Critic’s Choice, SAG and numerous other critics’ award. For a first time film actress, her Oscar win is a tremendous achievement that her peers surely envy.

But this is not our black actors and actresses first rodeo, we have seen this before.

African American actresses have played several demanding and critical roles with little recognition they seem to ride a wave of success with an Academy Award recognition, and sometimes victory. And when black actresses have triumphed, more often than not, the careers do not appear to get the traditional boost that typically follows and Oscar victory.

Hattie McDonald, the first black performer to win an Oscar in 1939’s Gone with the Wind, performance is remembered now more as a historical footnote and sad commentary on the stereotypical roles she was forced to play than the beginning of a burgeoning career. Whoopi Goldberg, who won for Ghost in 1990, was already an established comedian and stage star when she took home the Academy Award-she is an exception to the rule.

However, Jennifer Hudson, Mo’Nique, and Halle Berry have not fared quite as well.

Mo’Nique, who won for her powerful role in Precious, has yet to make another film since her win (a rumored bio of Hattie McDaniel remains rumored). Hudson was also largely absent from the big screen and her two most recent turns, while well reviewed, went largely unseen.

Halle Berry, who was briefly an A-list actress at the box office following her historic 2002 win for the controversial melodrama Monster’s Ball, has had a series of flops and messy public personal spats throughout her career. She’s planning a comeback on a television show produced by Steven Spielberg.

Octavia Spencer, who won for The Help in 2012, has proved a little more resilient, appearing in an acclaimed supporting role in this past year’s criminally under seen Fruitvale Station. She too was considering a jump to the small screen with a Murder, She Wrote reboot, but the project was scrapped.

So, back to Lupita Nyong’O…where does that leave her?

She has won a multitude of fans outside her film work for her beauty and glamorous appearance on the red carpet. Her beauty and infectiously sweet persona might give her the upper hand on some of her previous peers.

Her next role is a small one in Liam Neeson’s action film Non-Stop, which opens this weekend. After that, we shall see!

Source: therio


  1. marcus davis

    March 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Beats me why this article was written ,we already know how Hollywood has treated black folks over the years,its long overdue that there should be a movie industry thats run by black folks ,but black folks are always fretting about not getting their dues from Hollywood ,surely the answer is to have black film makers create an industry that represents black folks and not Hollywood stereotypical BS.East Indians have their own film industry and their movies are crap, Asians have their own film industry also.

    • Elem

      March 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      To each his own. Your opinions about Bollywood don’t matter. They are produced for their culture. By the way, don’t forget Nollywood. Yeah baby!

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