Oscar nominee, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who played Soloman Northup in the critically acclaimed film, has said studios still marginalise actors for being gay.

His comments come after the industry has been accused of showing a lack of diversity by not nominating an African American actor or director for the second year in a row.

“I hope this changes, but I think it’s probably harder to be gay,” he told the Times.

“Sexuality is still marginalised in a way that is pretty open. I think it’s tough.”

He added that he believed being forced to hide their orientation, gay actors feel shamed and get the sense of being “less than” their straight counterparts.

The 38-year-old also argued that at the same time, a person’s sexuality shouldn’t be anyone else’s business and shouldn’t get in the way of opportunities.

He said that race had never held him back from being an actor, having received the lead actor nomination at the Academy Awards in 2013 and winning an Olivier award in 2008 for his part in Othello.

Last month, it was reported that trans actress Alexis Arquette lashed out at Will Smith and his wife – accusing them of being hypocrites and questioned their sexuality. 

The attack came after the Smiths announced their plan to boycott this year’s ceremony because of it’s lack of diversity.