Tag: Adrian Lester

Idris Elba Delivers Speech to UK Parliament on Lack of Opportunities for Black British Talent (VIDEO)

Idris Elba
Idris Elba (Jessica Lea/DFID)

Just as #OscarsSoWhite has become a cause cé·lè·bre here in the USA primarily, across the pond, in the UK, the picture for actors and directors of color isn’t exactly rosy either. By now, I think we’re all familiar with the struggles of black talents in the UK, with the likes of Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Sophie Okonedo, David Oyelowo, and others vocalizing their frustrations with the lack of opportunity for black actors in the UK, and their having to go elsewhere (the USA specifically) to find work – a “trend” that many on this side of the pond frown upon, arguing that it effectively means that there’s even more competition for a limited number of opportunities.

Now “Luther” star Idris Elba is also speaking out, although he’s taken his protest (if you will) all the way to the UK parliament, where he formally spoke to the members Monday, on the lack of diversity across British television, and its effects on talented black Brits like himself who are essentially forgotten. In his speech, he accuses the industry’s executives of not living in the real world. He argued that British television is at risk of not properly reflecting society, emphasizing that black actors in the UK are struggling to progress, especially when compared to black actors in the USA.

“People in the TV world often aren’t the same as people in the real world. And there’s an even bigger gap between people who make TV, and people who watch TV. I should know, I live in the TV world. And although there’s a lot of reality TV, TV hasn’t caught up with reality,” Elba said, adding: “Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time.”

Watch some of his speech below (to read the full speech, Channel 4 transcribed it in its entirety here):

article by Tambay A. Benson via blogs.indiewire.com

Black British Actors Making Waves in Hollywood

Colin Salmon attends the Royal World Premiere of 'Skyfall' at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images)
Colin Salmon attends the Royal World Premiere of ‘Skyfall’ at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images)

Black British actors are taking Hollywood by storm. In recent years more and more have been cast in on-screen roles, not just in big budget U.S. films but also on American television.  In fact, nowadays it is highly likely a Brit will be found starring in a major Hollywood movie or hit TV series. Currently, U.S. television boasts several black British actors who are regular cast members in popular shows like Homeland and Game of Thrones.

“I love British actors,” says Brooks Jackson Colyar, a Los Angeles-based agent who represents actors and comedians. “I am fascinated they can take that accent and turn it into everyday American English,” she adds.  Black British actor David Oyelowo, 36, is a classic example. Born in the Oxford to Nigerian parents, Oyelowo was best known in the UK for playing an intelligence officer in the television drama series Spooks.

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