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‘Falling Skies’ Treva Etienne Joins Chorus Criticizing Lack of Opportunities for Black & POC Actors in the UK

'Falling Skies' Treva Etienne Joins Chorus Criticizing Lack of Opportunities for Black & POC Actors in the UK

You might remember
that, a few weeks ago, I posted an item about Sophie Okonedo and her criticisms
of the lack of opportunities, not just for her, but for her fellow actors of
color in the U.K., and that she gets many more opportunities and offers in the
U.S, than she does in her own native country (HERE).

Well, now
joining her (and the many other black British actors who’ve spoken out about this issue) is actor Treva Etienne, who’s currently playing a
major role in TNT’s sci-fi summer series "Falling Skies," which is executive
produced by Steve Spielberg.

In a recent
article in London’s The Guardian (HERE), Etienne says that many of
the current top U.K. actors in demand – such as Damian Lewis, Benedict
Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and others – all have two things in common: that they went to the top elite schools in England and, of course, they’re white.

As he says
in the Guardian piece: "We will be
destroying a generation of actors if we give these opportunities just to one
kind of kid at Eton and not to others. And these two kinds of kids are going to
meet each other in later life and they are going to see the difference. Acting
should not just work for one class of kids. It should work for all kids."

Compared to
them, Etienne started his acting career at the National Youth Theatre, the Anna
Scher Theatre, the Royal Court and the Black Theatre Co-operative’s season at
the Riverside theatre in Hammersmith. Unfortunately, several of those acting
groups (and more) have lost their funding over the years.

He further
continued that, "There should be more
diversity to the projects – not just the same tried and tested, familiar
things. Otherwise we will get an even greater domination of American television
drama
."

Which brings
up a question that some commenters have posted here on this site – the
fear that non-American black actors are increasingly getting roles in American
films and TV, as African-American actors are beginning to be shut
out.

So do you feel
that’s true or not? Or could it be that British black actors are simply better
actors with their traditional, rigorous training on the stage, than domestic actors?

What do you
say? 

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Comments

Cade

The British class system is as fundamentally disturbing as certain American attitudes to firearms ownership.

Darkan

I don't know why they keep complain about finding work in the UK when most of them get visas and end up working in the states from television to film. Most black Brits/Europeans are CONTINUOUSLY working and have no problem working here in the states. In any respect they should be happy because I know for damn sure an american born black actor can get ANY work over in England!

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