Larenz Tate Thinks Hollywood Places ‘More Value’ on Black British Actors Than Black American Actors

Larenz Tate at the "Unity" Documentary World Premeire at the Director's Guild of America on June 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Larenz Tate has chimed in on the debate about Black British actors landing roles in prominent American movies and TV shows.

The Power Book II: Ghost star addressed the issue during a recent interview on the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast.

Hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings asked Tate about a “decline” in the influence of the Black American male actor as a result of a “British invasion.” The hosts were referring to the success of British stars including Idris Elba, Damson Idris, Daniel Kaluuya, and John Boyega.

“I don’t look at it as a competition. I look at the collective,” Tate began. “There’s brothers who are doing it, whether they’re doing it here in America, whether they are doing it, you know over, from the U.K. or even from the mother continent, Africa. I’m cool with whatever it’s gonna be.”

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Still, he said Hollywood powerbrokers undervalue African-American actors.

“I feel like Hollywood believes there’s more value in British Black actors than they do in Black actors,” Tate said.

“And I think a part of it goes into, that ‘Oh, they have an audience over there, so they translate internationally.’ Going back to that, what I think is, you know, a hoax. That we don’t sell or we don’t, we’re not valuable,” he added. “So, I think they put that in the mix. Also, I think that Hollywood is in love with the U.K. and all things British.”

Tate, 47, has been acting since the 1980s. He is best knkwn for his roles in Menace II Society (1993), Love Jones (1997), Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998), Ray (2004), and Crash (2004).

The actor added in the interview, “I feel like the Black American actor, is, you know, I see what that decline is. But, you know, we’re here.”

Tate isn’t the only famous Black American actor to address the so-called “invasion” by Black British actors.

In a 2017 interview with New York radio station Hot 97, Samuel L. Jackson suggested Jordan Peele’s award-winning drama Get Out, which starred Daniel Kaluuya as an African-American man with a white girlfriend experiencing the horrors of racism, could have benefited from having an American actor in the lead role.

“There are a lot of Black British actors in these movies,” Jackson said. “What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but not everything.”

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Kaluuya has said racism makes it much more difficult for Black actors to find success in England.

“I was going for a lot of stuff [in England],” he told Britain’s The Sunday Times in 2020. “But I wasn’t getting roles because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t fair. It was a trap.”

Kaluuya, who was born in London, said he didn’t come to the U.S. looking for work out of choice, he came here out of necessity after repeatedly being passed over for roles in the U.K.

“I went up for this show. It was 10 rounds of auditions. There was me and a white guy for the lead,” he explained. “It was about aliens. And I realized as I was going to one audition that the other guy had been given an acting coach. They didn’t love me like they loved him.”

He said it wasn’t the first time something like that happened.

“It happened a few times, and I went, ‘Nah. I’m not an idiot,’” he added.

Watch the interview with Larenz Tate below.

One thought on “Larenz Tate Thinks Hollywood Places ‘More Value’ on Black British Actors Than Black American Actors

  1. I suppose Hollywood values and respects Black British actors more because they don’t go around accepting themselves as “ni66as” and “b1tches.” From what I’ve seen, Black British actors present themselves more refined and dignifiedly. In contrast, Black Americans have been overtaken by the Hip-Hop culture of thuggery and ratchetness. Why should anyone values you when you don’t respect or value yourselves?

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