When many people think of the network “BBC” (British Broadcasting Corporation), we think of Idris Elba and his hit series, “Luther.” While Elba has become an internationally renowned actor and musician, he isn’t too big to address the lack of diversity within tv and film in the UK.
The “Beasts Of No Nation” star recently addressed over 100 U.K. politicians including culture minister Ed Vaizey, and senior television executives. In a speech, he implored them to evaluate how they can make the British entertainment industry more diverse and reflective of the real world.
“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. Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time,” said Elba.
He also shared that he made a conscious decision to leave London for New York in the 1990s where he knew he would have a better chance at scoring leading roles in television and film.
The former star of “The Wire” went on to say, “I knew there wasn’t enough imagination in the industry for me to be seen as a lead. In other words, if I wanted to star in a British drama like Luther, then I’d have to go to a country like America. And the other thing was, because I never saw myself on TV, I stopped watching TV. Instead I decided to just go out and become TV.”
He also echoed the sentiments of Viola Davis‘ Emmy award speech when she said, “…the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”
Elba similarly said, “When you don’t reflect the real world, too much talent gets trashed. Thrown on the scrapheap. Talent is everywhere, opportunity isn’t. And talent can’t reach opportunity.”
Beauties, do you think A-list actors’ acknowledgment of the lack of diversity in the media makes a difference to the studios, casting directors, agents and directors who ultimately decide who will get the acting roles and awards?