The debate on whether or not British actors should play in American roles got pretty heated last year.
If you’ll recall, Spike Lee was at the mercy of Black Twitter after shading Black Brits in an episode of She’s Gotta Have It. Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) told Olu (Michael Luwoye): “[Black British actors] need to fall back and fall away from taking all of our roles, like we have dope, talented, trained, qualified Black actors right here in the States…But at the end of the day, Black Brits just come cheaper.” Yep, those words left her lips and the commentary only got worse from there.
Fast forward to last week — the British Academy Film Awards were blasted for their lack of diversity in major categories. Not to mention, Daniel Kaluuya shedding light on what it was really like to try and make it as an actor in England. He tells the Sunday Times he was trying out for a lot of English roles, actually. “But I wasn’t getting roles because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t fair. It was a trap,” he said. In one instance, he was up against a white man, who he says was treated far better than he was during the audition process.
“It was 10 rounds of auditions,” he told the publication . “There was me and a white guy for the lead. It was about aliens. And I realized as I was going to one audition that the other guy had been given an acting coach. They didn’t love me like they loved him.” “In any other profession, that would be weird, but it was accepted in mine,” he said. “It happened a few times, and I went, ‘Nah. I’m not an idiot.'”