Luther star Idris Elba is to warn MPs that a lack of opportunities for black actors on British TV is leaving talent 'on the scrapheap.' The actor has hit out at the situation saying he had to move to the U.S. just so he could be considered for more leading roles in shows.There is no dearth of black actors on British TV. The problem is that nearly all of them are occupied with playing the doting husband to their white wives in advertisements, when they're not playing the "token fourth friend" in car ads.
You can't get away from it. I counted the other night and there were three commercials in a row, two for banks and one for McDonalds, and each of them featured an African man, none of whom were handsome enough to ever be considered for the role of James Bond, improbably married to white women who ranged from moderately cute brunette to very pretty blonde.
It's less Hollywood that is aggressively pushing all the mudsharking than the ad industry. Of course, you very seldom see a white man with an Asian woman on TV, despite that being the most common interracial pairing by a considerable margin. In fact, one very seldom sees Arabs, Muslims, or Hispanics on British TV. And one doesn't often see African women in commercials either, except as "black mother" or "the token fourth friend" in aimed at women.
There is no question that it's not any sort of racial equality that is being advertised, but rather a very specific form of mudsharking. And there is nothing accidental about it.