The actress, who won an Oscar for best supporting actress in 2014, said she believes the #OscarsSoWhite controversy is a “symptom of something else.”
“I think what we are asking for is really for more stories to be told, for inclusion in the stories that are told,” she said while appearing on the Today show Wednesday morning. “It’s good for all of us when we hear a diverse number of stories and are able to experience more diversity. It’s more reflective of the world we live in.”
“I think that’s what we ultimately want,” she continued. “Is for a diversity of stories to be told.”
Nyong’o, 32, was on the morning talk show to promote her Broadway debut in the play Eclipsed, which features an all-female, diverse cast, and was a story Nyong’o was passionate to tell.
“I feel really grateful to be in the position that I find myself where I can use the little weight I have to get stories that I feel are untold – or yet to be told – made,” she explained. “For example with Eclipsed, this is something that I brought to the table because it had moved me in a way that I wanted to perform it and share it with people.”
“That’s the role I can play,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, director Ryan Murphy has created a plan to do his part in helping increase the number of women and minority directors in the film industry.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy is launching a foundation within his production company called Half. His goal is to have 50 percent of directors on his shows be either women or minorities. The director made a point to include both people of color and members of the LGBTQ community in his plan.
“The industry has always been about, you come to us,” he explained. “There’s not a lot of effort and inclusion, and I’m saying, ‘No, we’re going to go to you.’ ”
Courtney B. Vance echoed similar feelings to that of Murphy, stressing the importance of taking action in the issue.
“There’s work that needs to be done on everyone’s side. It’s not the Academy’s fault. It’s not the Academy’s job to right civil-rights wrongs for the country,” he told PEOPLE. “People of color, it’s our job to make sure we are doing all we can to be a part of the system.”
The American Crime Story actor continued: “If it’s important enough, get some people together and let’s put a program together to put a dent in this issue that is not going away until we all deal with it.”