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

nullYou 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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