Thanks to Idris Elba, the British Parliament is now handling the issue of lack of diversity, one of Hollywood’s great debates for years.
“None of us are just one flavor or one color. If we were, we’d be one-dimensional.”
Idris Elba acknowledges the lack of diversity in the British Parliament on television and expresses a need for that to change for the better. During his speech to an audience in Parliament on Monday, he charmed and had humor so that those in the room were comfortable and didn’t feel cornered. On a more serious note, he did argue that black actors, himself included, must turn to American television for a more promising role on T.V. You can watch a clip of the speech here.
“I knew I wasn’t going to land a lead role…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.”
Elba isn’t the first actor to call out the lack of diversity in the acting world. Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee have decided to boycott the Oscars due to lack of diversity in the nomination for the second year in a row.
The London-born Elba is another great actor who the Oscars snubbed and the Academy did not choose to nominate, though he was nominated for a Golden Globe. Though widely praised for his performance in “Beast of No Nation” as an African warlord, he was still ignored by the Oscar voters.
Elba has broken many barriers for people of color and those of the London community.
For instance, on American television, you would never guess that he has a natural British accent due to his ability to switch accents so successfully. The award-winning actor states that he isn’t just talking about black people but the general topic of diversity.
“I’m not here to talk about black people, I’m here to talk about diversity. Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin color – it’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and most important of all, as far as I’m concerned – diversity of thought. Because if you have genuine diversity of thought among people making TV and film, then you won’t accidentally shut out any of the groups I just mentioned.”
Elba still encourages the Parliament to acknowledge and change this problem, even went as far to quote Nelson Mandela:
“Everything seems impossible until it’s done,” said Nelson Mandela