In many ways this is a timely speech, given the recent debate about Oscar nominations, their continued lack of diversity, and what that reveals about lack of roles and opportunities for nonwhite actors. Yet this problem has been around for as long as I can remember, and it goes further back than that. What I found most striking about this speech is its emphasis on imagination, how Elba has imagined himself and his opportunities, and the relative lack of imagination in the entertainment industry when it comes to casting and storytelling.
Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin colour. It’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and – most important of all, as far as I’m concerned – diversity of thought. Because if you have genuine diversity of thought among people making TV & film, then you won’t accidentally shut out any of the groups I just mentioned.
Click here to see the entire speech.