Snowfall‘s Damson Idris thinks there’s “more to gain” from uniting the Black Diaspora than there is in creating division.
The actor joined the Hot in Hollywood panel at this year’s American Black Film Festival earlier this month, appearing alongside BlacKkKlansmen‘s Damaris Lewis, comedian Lil Rel, executive producer and actress Marsai Martin, and The Chi‘s Jacob Latimore, where he discussed the recently revived debate on Black American actors being in competition with Black British actors for Hollywood’s limited roles.
“There’s a lot of talk of, you know, Brits taking American roles. There’s a beautiful conversation right now because, most of all, I think it’s wonderful that the outside world connects to the American film industry,” the British actor said.
“That being said, this is a beautiful time in Black film. And as for Black people, there’s far more to gain through the unity of our cultures, our experiences,” Idris added.
The actor’s comments come after Samuel L. Jackson criticized the casting of Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele’s Get Out; and surmised that casting Black Brits was likely beneficial for films since “they’re cheaper than us” and “they’re better trained. ”
It also comes after a scene in She’s Gotta Have It sparked controversy over whether or not Black Brits were taking roles from Black Americans. The scene even inspired Star Wars actor John Boyega to respond, writing “Trash” on Twitter.
“In this acting community, we all love to make our mum’s proud,” Idris said during the festival panel, “and I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to do that with no restrictions.”