Almost 60 Percent of British Films Made in the Past 10 Years Feature Zero Black Actors

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David Oyelowo gave an empassioned speech during the debate in which the data was unveiled.

A new report from the British Film Institute also showed that just 13 percent of U.K. films had a black actor in a lead role.

New research unveiled by the British Film Institute has revealed eye-opening statistics regarding the diversity offered by the U.K.’s film industry.

Released Thursday during the Black Star Symposium, a debate on diversity in the U.K. as part of the BFI London Film Festival, the research showed that 59 percent of British films made over the last 10 years featured no black actors in named roles.

In the same period, just 13 percent of films had a black actor in a lead role, but 50 percent of these were clustered in just 47 films, less than five percent of the 1,172 films in the survey.

Also in the findings was that of the U.K.’s most prolific actors since 2006, just four were black: Noel Clarke, Nonso Anozie, Jumayn Hunter and Ashley Williams, while only 15 black actors had played two or more lead roles in British films.

The issue of diversity is a major element of the London Film Festival, which kicked off Wednesday evening with the European premiere of A United Kingdom. Earlier, during the Black Star Symposium, David Oyelowo gave an impassioned speech in which he described the reasons for him relocating to the U.S. to further his career and urged the U.K. industry to “stop this talent drain.”


 

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