David Oyelowo says he is reluctant to talk about diversity

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 23 November 2016
David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo

'A United Kingdom' actor David Oyelowo has claimed he is a reluctant "spokesperson for diversity"

David Oyelowo is a reluctant "spokesperson for diversity".

The 40-year-old actor has been openly critical about the lack of diversity in the British movie business, but David has admitted he wishes he did not have to speak about the issue.

He explained: "I am a spokesperson for diversity, reluctantly. Because if I don't do it, then I am part of the problem. And we do have a problem.

"I recently worked with four female directors in a row and that has been made such a big deal of. No one highlights when an actor works with 15,20,25 male directors in a row."

The 'A United Kingdom' actor said the time has come to stop discussing the issue of diversity and actually make meaningful strides towards tackling the problem.

He told the Metro newspaper: "My refrain is that we need to stop talking about diversity and just start doing diversity. We all have our bias, so the only way to have true diversity is to have more of a mix of people who are decision-makers in order that their natural bias is what is seen."

David is conscious some people may consider him to be preaching about diversity, but he insisted he is merely explaining his personal experiences.

He shared: "I'm aware there are people who, the minute I open my mouth, are rolling their eyes thinking, 'Oh, here we go again'. They have the notion that you are calling them racist or whatever. But I am not.

"I am just telling you my experience: it is a struggle to get stories told that reflect the society that we live in."

Earlier this year, David spoke at the Black Star symposium at the BFI in London and called for more black-oriented historical films, saying it would help Britain to understand "how it became what it is".

He explained: "People of colour have been expunged from Britain's history. One of the best ways to illustrate how integrated we are historically is to have a piece of entertainment that people can also learn from while they are watching it.

"That is why I am hellbent on period drama: we need the context so we can build, and then go on to grow."

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