Diversity takes a dive for US actors as Brits hog the best American roles

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Where, Lenny Henry famously inquired, are the true media industry diversity chances for black Brits?

Think about the top end of Hollywood. Chiwetel Ejiofor (born Forest Gate, London) was the great Oscars nearly man last year after Twelve Years a Slave. Idris Elba (born Hackney) must have come pretty close via Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, approached by way of The Wire. And David Oyelowo (born Oxford) is Martin Luther King in Selma this season, alongside Carmen Ejogo (born Kensington) as Coretta.

Diversity? Well, you could say that Tom Wilkinson (born Leeds) makes a fine LBJ and that Tim Roth (born Dulwich) a ranting George Wallace. Add memories of Anthony Hopkins (Nixon) or Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) for luck. But still shed bitter tears over the fate of LA’s real diversity victims: Americans hunting the great American roles.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Peter Preston, for The Observer on Sunday 25th January 2015 00.05 Europe/London

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