Metro Weekly

Daniel Radcliffe slams Hollywood’s diversity problem

Former Harry Potter actor criticizes film industry for failing to encourage diversity

Daniel Radcliffe - Photo: BBC News.

Daniel Radcliffe – Photo: BBC News.

“We like to think of ourselves as being a very, very progressive industry, but we have been lagging behind in all kinds of areas.”

–Actor Daniel Radcliffe, speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire program about how the film industry  is failing to encourage diversity. Radcliffe, who sits on the panel that chooses Oscar winners, said it is “pretty undeniable” that Hollywood is racist.

The 27-year-old actor, best known for portraying the title role in the Harry Potter movie series, told Derbyshire that his most recent role, where he plays an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist group in Imperium, led him to think more about racial issues and the “mainstreaming” of some of the opinions around white supremacy.

He also acknowledged that it was hard for gay actors to come out, for fear that they will be typecast in only gay roles, saying: “I suppose then people just want to cast you as gay.”

Radcliffe’s comments mirror the conclusions of a study finding that women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, and other historically marginalized groups are still underrepresented among actors, writers and directors of some of the industry’s most popular films.

That study found that there had been little change in the demographic makeup of the people in front of or behind the camera since 2007, when the researchers began keeping track of such data.

Radcliffe also echoes a charge made last month by actor Jared Leto, who claimed that the film industry does not give openly gay or lesbian actors the same opportunities as their straight counterparts.

Leto said the film industry remains a “conservative business,” particularly when it comes to portrayals of sexuality.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com