Chiwetel Ejiofor says diversity in film industry is “fundamental” for its survival

"[It] has to be if it wants to survive really, and it wants to engage with audiences"

Chiwetel Ejiofor has said that the movie industry needs to embrace diversity in order “to survive.”

In a new interview with Digital Spy promoting the release of Netflix‘s The Old Guard, the Marvel actor spoke about diversity across both the cast and story itself.

“That was already in the script, but [director Gina Prince-Bythewood] was going to enhance all of those elements of inclusion and representation that are really going to be, I think, a fundamental and very important part of this industry going forward.

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“And has to be if it wants to survive really, and it wants to engage with audiences. She was somebody who really is able to do that and to create that kind of atmosphere and so I love that part of being in this project.”

Released yesterday (July 4), watch the latest trailer for The Old Guard below:

In the same interview, Prince-Bythewood explained how her experience informed the film: “I feel like I’ve just been in the sustained fight for 25 years to make these films. I’d like to not have to fight so hard because our stories deserve to be told, and the world needs to see our stories, they need to see us in every genre.

“And not just consider a film with some Black characters in a Black film. We should be in a Western, we should be in sci-fi, we should be in love stories… Black filmmakers should have the opportunity to tell all types of stories.

“You know the fact that in 2020, we’re still having firsts is sad. It is incredibly sad. But my hope is that in having success with this film that that can open the door and others can get this opportunity.”

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Earlier this week (June 29), Anthony Mackie criticised Marvel Studios for its lack of diversity when hiring production crews for big-budget projects.

The actor, who is best known for playing Sam Wilson/Falcon since 2014, believes Marvel has a responsibility to ensure greater diversity among casts and production crews.

Speaking as part of Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ series, he said: “It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white.”

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