Ariana DeBose has slammed the “haterade” around her Oscar win.
The 31-year-old actress made history when she became the first queer woman of colour to take home the Best Supporting Actress accolade for her work on ‘West Side Story’ earlier this year and she’s slammed insinuations she received the honour for something other than her talent.
She said: “There have been insinuations that I was given an Oscar because I’m queer and because I am an Afro-Latina. And that’s haterade. That’s just haterade. And I know that.”
Ariana insisted she wouldn’t have got the award if her work hadn’t been “exceptional” and she has done enough to “earn” her “seat at the table”.
She continued in an interview with America’s ELLE magazine for their Women in Hollywood issue: “We wouldn’t have had conversations around my identity, or any of the labels associated with my name, if my work had not first been exceptional. And I’ve always said, I don’t believe I should be handed anything. I want to earn my seat at the table.
“I don’t believe in everybody getting gold stars just because you tried. I want the gold star because I busted my balls to be where I am, and I’ve done the work, and I trained, and I took the private lessons, and I humbled myself.
“I fell on my face multiple times in the 10 years it took me to get to where I am. Hell, I took a voice lesson yesterday. Yesterday.”
Ariana, who was only the second Latina to win an Oscar for acting, admitted she is still “processing” the significance of her win.
She said: “I’m still processing what it all means. I watched the Oscars for many, many years as a kid, and I never thought I would be standing where Halle Berry or Whoopi Goldberg stood.”
The ‘Prom’ actress claimed she missed out on auditions earlier in her career because people would “buy” her in Latina roles.
She said: “When I was starting out, there wasn’t a true celebration of the diaspora…
“In Hollywood, it was always, for a very good reason, Eva Longoria, JLo, or Sofia Vergara. There was no space for me to be considered Latina.
“And in fact, I was told by some casting directors that no one would buy it, so I couldn’t audition.
“But that was the beginning. Now we can open up so many doors and show people what we really look like and how diverse we really are, and all the other things that we have to offer. And that there’s not just one way of being anything.”