Noma Dumezweni who won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Harry Potter’s bookish best friend, Hermione Granger, delivered a powerful speech about her life as a refugee child.
“I arrived in this country as a refugee child with my sister and my mother,” she said. “I suppose what I’m trying to say — this is my little political bit, if you don’t mind — I am a refugee child.”
The actress, who the Guardian reports has South African parents and was born in Swaziland, joins the rank of performers using their platforms at awards ceremonies to touch on political issues.
Dumezweni’s casting had attracted hostility from some fans who complained that the character, played by Emma Watson in the films, was white. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to announce her support of the casting choice.