Lupita Nyong’o Faces Massive Backlash For Partnering With De Beers After She Turned Down “The Woman King”
Lupita Nyong’o has received backlash after diamond mining giant De Beers announced they had appointed her as its first global ambassador.
As part of the partnership, Nyong’o will star in the brand’s new campaign — ‘De Beers: Where It Begins’ which tells the story of De Beers. The campaign which was shot by renowned Australian photographer and director Lachlan Bailey follows the Black Panther actress as she discovers a rough diamond and watches it magically transform into magnificent jewellery.
The campaign will launch globally on November 3. As part of the partnership, Nyong’o will also support De Beers’ ‘Building Forever’ commitment, which aims to advance women and girls where its diamonds are mined.
Under this commitment, De Beers will work with the Academy Award-winning actress in pursuit of the brand’s public goals to engage 10,000 girls in STEM, support 10,000 women entrepreneurs and invest at least $10 million across southern Africa to achieve these goals by 2030.
However, Lupita Nyong’o has caught some flack after the announcement of the partnership. She was accused of having double standards especially after turning down the opportunity to play The Woman King.
Lupita exited The Woman King after she made a documentary about the Agojie, Warrior Women, through Africa in 2019. In the documentary, Nyong’o discovers that The Agojie were warriors, but they did not fight for what The Woman King claims they did. The Agojie tribe and the Kingdom of Dahomey participated in the European slave trade.
After her work on Warrior Women, Nyong’o quietly exited The Woman King. Now she is being called out for partnering with De Beers which has historical ties to colonialism.
I’ve spent so much of my morning trying to understand this. Lupita is partnering with a diamond company with deep roots in colonial extraction across Africa to “empower” African women??
I’ve spent so much of my morning trying to understand this. Lupita is partnering with a diamond company with deep roots in colonial extraction across Africa to “empower” African women?? pic.twitter.com/WJ3XPBBA7d
— Marius Kothor (@MariusKothor) October 29, 2022
A majority of people who took to the comments section also questioned why the actress had decided to partner with the diamond mining giant. Below are some of the comments:
I find that ppl are so eager to tie themselves to anything that will be seen as empowerment that they don’t research the implications. They have access to this info, they have a team that can access this info yet non of the work was done to uncover how non empowering this is!
The same Lupita Nyong’o, who wouldn’t take a role in “The Woman King” due to the Agojie’s links to slaves trade, is the same Lupita who is a De Beers ambassador.
How much did The Woman King pay, compared to this De Beers gig⁉️🤔
Tré Ventour Ed (he/him):
OOF … Black capitalism is not the way. This is also the legacy of Cecil Rhodes, imagine doing this two weeks before Black Panther 2 releases too … urgh, some of these Black celebrities if they were paid enough money, would accept chains on their ankles. Absolutely disgusted.
Another Twitter user Dwayne Wong also questioned Lupita Nyong’o’s decision to partner with De Beers after turning down a role in The Woman King:
Lupita didn’t want a role in Woman King, but has no problem being an ambassador for De Beers. It just shows that a lot of outrage about the movie came from those who have no problem with colonialism.