Actor David Oyelowo is criticizing HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” for marginalizing people of colour in the show’s fantasy realms, saying there’s “no excuse” that the series only uses actors of colour in periphery roles.
“The fact that they put any ethnic minorities in that means that there should be space for bigger characters,” the “Selma” star tells RadioTimes.com. “Because you’re not just saying ‘okay this is purely a white world, and here are very story-driven reasons why that’s the case.'”
“Game Of Thrones” hasn’t entirely been devoid of people of colour over the years, including Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati), Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie) and Areo Hotah (DeObia Oparei), army general Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and translator Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). However, Oyelowo says that the inclusion of these actors only highlights the inequality in the show’s storylines and the relegation of these characters to background roles.
“You are interspersing people of colour into it, and so therefore it’s a conscious decision to put them on the margins, as opposed to put them front and centre,” Oyelowo says. “Even if for whatever reason, it’s a world in which people of colour in those stories are subservient, or they are more in a helper role, that doesn’t mean they can’t have prominent storylines. All you have to do is shift the focus to focus on those characters.”
“So for me, there is absolutely no excuse in a show like that why there aren’t more prominent characters of colour,” he adds.
The “Queen Of Katwe” star is an outspoken advocate for diversity. Oyelowo recently gave an emotional speech pleading for more diversity in British productions.