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Ethiopian-Irish Actress Ruth Negga Believes Her Heritage Is Negatively Affecting Her Career

Shadow and Act By Emmanuel Akitobi | Shadow and Act September 3, 2012 at 5:41PM

The Irish Sun is reporting that Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga (Misfits, Love/Hate) believes her heritage has prevented her from success in Hollywood.
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Touch Press

The Irish Sun is reporting that Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga (Misfits, Love/Hate) believes her heritage has prevented her from success in Hollywood.

Why does Negga feel this way?  Here's what The Irish Sun is reporting:

Ruth said: “I’ve never had actual feedback that this was the reason I didn’t get a part, no-one’s ever said to my face that was the reason. But I’m sure it’s been the case.

“I’ve gone into auditions and I think they have an assumption about me when they see my photo and then I open my mouth and they say, ‘Where exactly are you from? And you were born in Ethiopia? But you’re Irish, but you also kind of sound English. That’s really strange.’”

She added: “They want to put you in a box in LA, that’s how they tend to do it there, so if you don’t fit in that box, it makes it more difficult.”

I'll leave it to S&A readers to decipher that reasoning.

In addition to the film and TV roles she's already known for, Negga is scheduled to appear next in the Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side, and the historical epic Twelve Years A Slave with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.

So she's definitely working.  But I guess what Negga is saying is that opportunities here in the U.S. are not as common as they are back home.

Is this an argument which warrants further conversation?  Or is this Ruth Negga's wake-up call on being an actor-of-color in America?

This article is related to: Ruth Negga


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