Homeland star David Harewood has suggested that black actors leave the UK as ‘there just isn’t the industry to support us’.
The 54-year-old star left for America and found fame playing CIA’s counter-terrorism chief David Estes in the hit US drama series.
Speaking on The Joe Wicks Podcast, he said his agent told him he needed ‘to get to America’.
‘That’s why the major black actors in the UK leave, there just isn’t the industry to support us,’ David explained.
He was ‘in a bad way’ after not getting any roles until he finally got Homeland.
‘It’s been really tough here [in the UK] for me,’ he began. ‘I know people consider me a success but I hadn’t even worked in England on any TV for about nine months when I got Homeland.’
The actor, who also stars in Supergirl, believes racism ‘isn’t really understood’ in the UK.
‘And because our system is essentially a class-based system it gets swallowed up in that paradigm, as the working class will say, “Well, join the queue,”‘ David added.
‘It is a particularly different struggle, so it is very difficult to get people to acknowledge that there is a specificity to racism and how it affects people of colour in this country.’
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and movement, Hollywood and the UK TV industry have been trying to improve themselves in regards to racism and diversity.
Many white actors have been quitting their non-white roles (e.g. Kristen Bell quit her role as a mixed-race character in Central Park), while many programmes have been removed due to racist content.
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