Actor Says Game Of Thrones Has "No Excuse" For Not Giving Minorities Bigger Roles

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO.
Pictured: Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei.
Is Khal Drogo coming back? Who will Jon Snow end up with? And for heaven's sake, will a minority actor on Game of Thrones ever get a major storyline?

Actor David Oyelowo is pressing that final issue in a new interview with Radio Times. The Selma star told the U.K. magazine that the HBO show has "no excuse" for not giving its minority characters more to do.

Some have defended the show's mostly white cast by arguing that it's a period piece, and thus more historically accurate to feature white actors. As Oyelowo sees it, however, that argument doesn't hold water because the show does have some minority characters, including Nathalie Emmanuel's Missandei. Therefore, minorities aren't unheard of in Westeros, etc. They're just relegated to background roles, with little involvement in the big picture.

"The fact that they put any ethnic minorities in that means that there should be space for bigger characters,” the actor explained. “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.'

“You are interspersing people of color into it, and so therefore it’s a conscious decision to put them on the margins, as opposed to put them front and center,” he continued. “Even if for whatever reason, it’s a world in which people of color 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 color.”

Oyelowo's comments have been getting support on social media. Where do you stand?

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