If you’ve seen the US series The Good Wife, you probably recognise Cush Jumbo, as it is her most well known role. Recently in an interview, she criticised the lack of diversity in British TV.
The actress, who was born in London, discussed this with BBC Radio 5 and said that UK TV “doesn’t represent the country we live in”. While she did admit that the US has “huge race problems”, apparently Cush had less trouble finding work there because there are “more options for you to try”.
Cush said: “I would jump at the chance for there to be more parts for me here [the UK]. It’s not that I think [producers and casting directors] are racist or don’t like me, it’s that we have an idea in our heads here of representation on TV, and it doesn’t represent the country we live in, and it should.”
Apparently, she faced a lot of issues getting cast for roles because she is mixed race.
“You get feedback from auditions – and they might say something along the lines of, ‘We’re only casting fully black or fully white people for this particular project, and because you’re mixed [race] that doesn’t work.’ Or I’ve had, ‘You were the absolute best person for the part but you don’t fit with the family shade-wise.'”
“I think we have to start from the top down. If our producers and the people sitting on our boards and trusts and the people writing don’t have different experiences, then of course the work that drips down is just of one or two or three experiences… not the experience of anybody else. It’s a little bit like what happened with the Oscars where they made some huge changes very quickly because they realised they had to.”