In an appearance on the network Thursday, Asher said that her family had been "hoping" Chiwetel Ejiofor would be recognized one day for his efforts.
"This was so emotional for me because -- I'm going to try not to cry -- but this is a day that my family has been hoping for, and waiting for, for such a long time. Chiwetel has been acting since he was 13 years old. Oh my god, I told myself I wasn't going to cry, but I do feel so emotional right now."
Asher added that Ejiofor was the only surviving member of a car crash in which their father had died.
"It is a kind of sad day as well because my father isn't alive anymore, so he can't see this," she said. “That chance at life that [Chiwetel] was given -- he really has gone on to make the most of it.”
"Thank you so much everyone! My family is very excited for Chiwetel. Very emotional day! #Oscars #12yearsaSlave," Asher tweeted later.
Ejiofor also released a statement about the Oscar nod:
At no point during filming, in the sweltering heat of New Orleans, did any of us ever foresee the journey this film would take us all on. [Director] Steve McQueen created an entire family to tell one man's tale and I am delighted that so many of this family have also been recognized today. I am hugely grateful to the Academy for this great honor, and, of course, to Solomon Northup for sharing his story through his breathtaking book.
[Us Weekly, The Wrap]