Cynthia Erivo is being cast as Harriet Tubman in an upcoming film production. While many celebrated the acclaimed artist, other criticized her casting. A popular opinion points to the fact that a British actress was selected over an American one to tell the story of an American icon. Given the weight of the Tubman's legacy, many feel that someone who can relate more directly to this legacy should have gotten the part instead.

Erivo has responded to the backlash with a statement via Instagram, affirming that her hard work is enough to justify her achievement.

"I guess there is a bigger conversation to be had about heritage and experience, also about who Harriet really was. That can not be had in an Instagram post, what I will say is that my journey to this woman has been long and detailed and one I have not taken lightly [...] People speak of foreign privilege and truthfully life would be unbelievably easy if that were applied to me but that is not my portion. I fought for the role of Celie, and spilled blood sweat and tears playing her, the same applies for every role I’ve earned, this will be no different [...] I cannot tell how protective I am of this woman and her story."

What many publications have failed to acknowledge in this matter is the fact that Erivo is known to have criticized Black Americans with condescending comments usually aimed to prop her up as superior in her Britishness.