Award-winning actor Idris Elba went before the Houses of Parliament and addressed the lack of diversity in British television, noting that opportunity is forcing more diverse actors to go to the United States.
Elba’s speech directly follows the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations in which only white actors have been nominated in both the leading and supporting categories.
The 43-year-old Londoner openly addressed typecasting, where filmmakers force actors of color like himself to play “best friends” and “cop sidekick parts.”
Elba’s argument has been backed by fellow British actors Sir Lenny Henry, Sophie Okonedo and David Harewood, who have all argued for greater diversity in British television. “I never saw myself or my culture on TV so I stopped watching TV. Instead I decided to just go out and become TV. I had to transform the way the industry saw me. I had to climb out of the box. In other words, I didn’t go to America because I couldn’t get parts; I went to America because I was running out of parts,” he said.
Click Here To Read His Full Key Note Speech
Photo By Getty Images