Over the past few years, the popularity of British period dramas has soared, with productions such as “Downton Abbey” and Netflix’s “The Crown.” However, actress Thandie Newton considers this a problem for black actors, as these shows are making it harder for them to find acting jobs in England.
“I love being [in the U.K.], but I can’t work, because I can’t do ‘Downton Abbey,’ can’t be in ‘Victoria,’ can’t be in ‘Call the Midwife,'” the “Westworld” star said in a recent interview with UK’s Sunday Times Magazine.
She added, “Well, I could, but I don’t want to play someone who’s being racially abused. I’m not interested in that, don’t want to do it.”
Newton, who stars in the BBC drama “Line of Duty” continued, “There just seems to be a desire for stuff about the royal family, stuff from the past, which is understandable, but it just makes it slim pickings for people of color.”
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Last October, another England-born actor, David Oyelowo, also took aim at the lack of diversity in British television series.
The “Selma” and “Queen of Katwe” star criticized the HBO drama “Game of Thrones” for the absence of actors of color in prominent roles in its cast, saying that there is “no excuse” for it. The actress said that “the fact that they put any ethnic minorities in that means that there should be space for bigger characters. Because you’re not just saying, ‘OK this is purely a white world, and here are very story-driven reasons why that’s the case.'”