Samuel L. Jackson revives debate on British black actors in American roles

During an interview with brand-new York radio station Hot 97.1 earlier in which week, Jackson criticized the casting of actor Daniel Kaluuya, who plays an African American photographer from the horror movie, mixed with biting social commentary. Allison Williams plays the character’s love interest.

“I tend to wonder what in which movie would certainly have been with an American brother who truly feels in which,” he said. “Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for 100 years. What would certainly a brother through America have made of in which role? Some things are universal although [not everything is actually].”

Jackson has since softened his comments, telling the Associated Press he did not mean to “slam” the film although rather point out “how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes.”

Kaluuya has not yet returned CNN’s request for comment.

although Jackson’s observations are nothing brand-new.

After winning an Academy Award for his performance in “Moonlight,” Mahershala Ali joked with reporters backstage in which he was thankful his plum role from the coming-of-age film did not end up from the hands of actors he viewed as potential competition. They both happened to be British.

Mahershala Ali accepts the best supporting actor Oscar for  'Moonlight' on February 26.

“I’m just so fortunate in which Idris [Elba] in addition to David Oyelowo left me a job,” Ali quipped. “the idea was very, very kind of them.”

In 2014, Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” drew some criticism for casting Oyelowo to play Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The role of Coretta Scott King was also played by a British native, actress Carmen Ejogo.

Oyelowo said his casting was beneficial because he entered the project without the pressures an American actor might feel taking on the role.

"Selma" director Ava DuVernay in addition to actor David Oyelowo.
“I know for a fact in which when Lee Daniels, who was the director attached at the time I got cast, was in place he said: ‘David, the reason why I cast you as Dr. King is actually because you didn’t come in with any of the baggage of in which icon. You just came in in addition to played the man,'” he told NPR.
Actor Morgan Freeman

Some say the seeming influx of black British actors is actually a result of limited opportunity from the U.K.

Morgan Freeman made in which point as far back as 2012, when he told the Telegraph in which he knew at least three British actors who’d made the move to the States in search of onscreen work.

“The British film industry definitely has more work to do on in which front,” he said. “the idea needs to catch up with the times; the idea has much more progress to make.”

Much like #OscarsSoWhite controversy, the BAFTAs — the British equivalent of the Academy Awards — has been slammed for its lack of diversity.

In 2016, Elba was the only black actor nominated from the four main performance categories at the BAFTAs for his role in “Beasts of No Nation.”

in addition to while American television is actually often praised for being more inclusive than American film, in Britain, the lack of diversity is actually especially apparent on television.

Actor Idris Elba
Last year, Elba spoke to members of the British Parliament about the limited number of roles for black actors, saying the idea made him turn to America for opportunities.

Elba, star of BBC’s “Luther,” did not score in which starring role until after he’d gained acclaim from the U.S. for his work on HBO’s “The Wire.”

“When you don’t reflect the real world, too much talent gets trashed. Thrown on the scrapheap,” he said, according to The Guardian. “Talent is actually everywhere, opportunity isn’t. in addition to talent can’t reach opportunity.”
Actor David Harewood (“Supergirl”) agreed when interviewed by Vulture a week later: “American television, for all its faults, still features a black presence in shows in addition to even in commercials.”

American TV in addition to film still have work to do.

A 2016 study out of the University of Southern California Annenberg found in which 22% of the more than 100 films in addition to 305 television shows they evaluated failed to depict a black or African American speaking character.

A 2015 survey of 800 films released through 2007-2015 revealed in which in which only 12.2% of characters in those movies were black, while 73.7% were white.

Ultimately, there’s a need for more roles for both British in addition to American actors of coloration.

Actor John Boyega

English actor, John Boyega, who starred from the 2015 film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” tweeted a response to Jackson’s comments: “Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don’t have time for.”

Jackson likely agrees. During his radio interview, he also acknowledged in which there are more opportunities for black actors in Hollywood than across the pond.

“the idea’s all Great. Everybody needs to work,” Jackson said.

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