New York-based film critic Rebecca Theodore-Vachron tweeted
, “you don’t get to shit on Black American actors/Black American culture and then feel entitled to take up space in the very same culture.” She’s not wrong. Ben-Adir’s comments to the L.A. Times
are pretty cringe-inducing considering, as veteran Black American actor Wendell Pierce tweeted
about Ben-Adir, “Hollywood producers are huge Anglophiles who assume anything British is better. You are fortunate to reap the benefit of that.” There is something to be said about the preferential treatment British actors seem to get when it comes to certain roles in Hollywood and, as Tonja Renee Stidhum for The Root
put it, the “systemic practice based upon white supremacy that further erases and marginalises Black American talent.” It’s hard to defend Ben-Adir’s wilful refusal to check his privilege even though, as a Canadian, I understand his sentiment. Black people outside of the U.S. are victims of systemic racism
too, but it’s because of — not in spite of — Black America’s globally dominant culture that their civil rights heroes feel like ours as well. There needed to be more respect behind those initial statements.