Actress Thandie Newton has claimed she cannot get enough acting work in Britain due to the lack of parts for black actors.
The London-born actress will soon be starring in BBC’s Line of Duty, but discussed with Sunday Times Magazine how British television seems to be mostly period dramas:
“I love being here (Britain), but I can’t work, because I can’t do Downton Abbey, can’t be in Victoria, can’t be in Call The Midwife – 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…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 colour.”
The star of Westworld went onto describe experiences of sexism and racism in the industry, referencing an incident where a producer asked her to be topless in a scene to get ‘ratings’. She said:
“I’m talented at what I do, but I’ve had to struggle against racism and sexism. But I’m glad of it, in a way, that I survived and overcame.”
Newton said being cast in Line Of Duty wasn’t just because of her Hollywood credentials;
“The reason they wanted me wasn’t just, ‘Oh, she’s been in Hollywood movies,’ they wanted someone with integrity, someone who does actually stand for the empowerment of women, fighting violence against women.”