Sophie Okonedo criticises lack of black roles in British productions

Sophie Okonedo has called on filmmakers in her native Britain to create more roles for black actors because the lack of opportunity has forced her to seek the majority of her employment in America. The Hotel Rwanda actress, who won a Tony Award last month (Jun14) for her role in a Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, reveals she struggles to attract the same kind of interest in her work in the U.K. as she does across the Atlantic, even though she is an Oscar-nominated star.
She tells Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, “I do notice that – over the last year – I’ve had maybe two scripts from England and tens and tens from America. The balance is ridiculous. I’m still struggling (in the U.K.) in a way my white counterparts at the same level wouldn’t have quite the same struggle. People who started with me would have their own (TV) series by now, and I’m still fighting to get to the second lead or whatever. I think I’m at a certain level and have a good range, so why isn’t my in box of English scripts busting at the seams as my American one is? There’s something amiss here.”
She adds, “I keep reading that I live in America, but I work there – for the reasons I’ve told you – and then come straight home (to England). This is home.”