David Oyelowo thinks there are too many ‘white saviours’ taking central roles in films telling African stories.
The British actor’s comments come in the same week that has seen him speak out against the lack of diversity in the 2016 Oscar nominations.
David known for playing Martin Luther King in Selma and having roles in The Paperboy, Interstellar and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, toldthat he felt the need to do certain films to give an authentic cultural perspective.
‘Yes there’s no question that my own very happy marriage was the inspiration of why I want to see a story like A United Kingdom told,’ David said of his upcoming film which sees him play Seretse Khama, the former president of Botswana whose interracial marriage with a white Englishman caused a scandal back in 1948.
‘But also you know I’m Nigerian, I’m from Africa, my parents are from Africa and I just don’t feel like there are enough stories out of Africa that are transcendent that aren’t about dictators, or degradation, or poverty or to be perfectly frank “a white saviour” at the centre of the story.
He added: ‘It’s about an African king who married a white woman and their love changed the world. it’s an epic love story and I just can’t remember the last time I saw that, certainly not with a black protagonist at the centre so for me that’s the overriding thing that I’m excited about, giving the world a different kind of African story.’
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A United Kingdom is a stark contrast in story to David’s Captive, another film based on a true story, but this time of Brian Nichols, a man on trial for rape who escapes from the Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta on March 11, 2005, and takes drug addict Ashley Smith (Kate Mara) hostage.Considering the current political climate in America, making a movie about a black man kidnapping a white woman might not be seen as putting out a positive image of racial diversity, but the actor believes that the themes are more than skin deep.
‘I think the common ground that they shared of being a black man and a white woman is what helped her never touch that drug again, and turn her life around, and him giving himself up and letting her go,’ David said.
‘Even though on the surface of it, it has all these hot button prejudicial subject matters, when you go behind the headline you see that these are just two broken people who needed pulling out of the mire.’
Culled from http://metro.co.uk/