Ruth Negga was raised in Limerick, Ireland before moving to London to study and then onward to Los Angeles. However, it wasn’t until London that the actress said she really experienced racism.
“Being black and Irish in London wasn’t great,” Negga told The Irish Times. “I did my secondary school education in London and being Black and Irish in the 1990s wasn’t fun.”
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Speaking about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, Negga said that she doesn’t believe people who say they don’t see skin colour.
“People who say they don’t consider skin colour … are you saying that because you’re trying to reach out in a compassionate and empathetic way, which is lovely and great, or because you don’t want to talk about it or because you’re f**king blind?” she said.
“I find it patronising and it’s an erasure, of self, in order to be this thing, you have to get rid of that thing which to me goes back to the kind of self defining.”
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Negga also spoke about racism in Hollywood.
“The success of ‘Black Panther’ – people were in shock – but it wasn’t a shock to Black people. [There was this] denial for ages that Black films can’t make money, of course they can, [there’s been a] wilful exclusion,” the “Ad Astra” star said.
“If I see more than one Black crew member, I get the shock of my life, that has to change, we need to be reflected in this industry… and I think what’s happening now, this movement, this is our opportunity to precipitate change and we can’t let this opportunity go,” she added. “We can hold people in power accountable, to make changes happen, and agitate for that.”