It was reported last week that a lot of Lupita Nyongo’s scenes had been cut in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie because her performance wasn’t up to snuff. Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased. I was already disappointed when I learned that she’d been cast as a completely computer-generated character, but this news was like having salt rubbed into the wound.
As a huge Star Wars fan, I was still excited about the movie, but that excitement had definitely been taken down a notch. Fortunately, it looks like I have may have gotten upset over nothing.
But Abrams told Page Six in a statement: “The number of rumors floating around about ‘The Force Awakens’ is truly stunning. Some are wonderfully funny, others simply preposterous. But the only one more ridiculous than Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord is that I cut Lupita Nyong’o’s performance because it wasn’t satisfactory.” [Page Six]
Whew! The last thing I wanted to do was go and see this movie with anything but the most positive feelings. Now I can settle into my theater seat this Saturday with a large popcorn, a large drink and a large smile to match.
This still makes me angry however. Actresses of color already have it hard enough in Hollywood, and since they typically don’t get the benefit of the doubt or third and fourth chances to get it right, rumors like this can have a detrimental effect on someone’s career.
I’m glad that J.J. Abrams came out and smacked these rumors down so that people wouldn’t continue with the mistaken impression that her talent was somehow lacking. It’s bad enough we’re not getting a live-action Lupita character; this would have been too much.