David Harewood claims he left the UK to pursue acting roles in the United States because of racism

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David Harewood claimed he moved to the United States because as a black man he struggled to land roles in the UK’s film industry.

The Homeland star, 54, spoke candidly on Joe Wicks’ podcast on Monday about his decision to head across the Atlantic for work, as he detailed his struggle with racism in the UK.

Admitting he felt it was necessary to move to the US, the actor, who is also known for his role as J’onn J’onzz in Supergirl, said: ‘I always knew I had talent. I was always convinced that it wasn’t necessarily me, it was the industry.’ 

'There just isn't the industry to support us': David Harewood claimed on Wednesday that he left the UK to pursue acting roles in the United States because of racism

'There just isn't the industry to support us': David Harewood claimed on Wednesday that he left the UK to pursue acting roles in the United States because of racism

‘There just isn’t the industry to support us’: David Harewood claimed on Wednesday that he left the UK to pursue acting roles in the United States because of racism

‘I turn my TV on in America and there’s a range of shows with black leading actors and actresses, Netflix has got lots of shows with leading black casts,’ 

‘That’s why the major black actors in the U.K. leave, there just isn’t the industry to support us.’

David went on to claim it was a ‘different struggle’ dealing with racism in the UK compared to the United States, as he felt it is ‘difficult’ to get people to realise there is still a problem in Britain.

Honest: Admitting he felt it necessary to move to the US to get work, David (pictured in Homeland) said: 'I was always convinced that it wasn't necessarily me, it was the industry'

Honest: Admitting he felt it necessary to move to the US to get work, David (pictured in Homeland) said: 'I was always convinced that it wasn't necessarily me, it was the industry'

Honest: Admitting he felt it necessary to move to the US to get work, David (pictured in Homeland) said: ‘I was always convinced that it wasn’t necessarily me, it was the industry’

‘It very difficult to get people to acknowledge that there is a specificity to racism and how it affects people of colour in this country,’ he explained.

‘Racism and its effects still isn’t really understood here, and because our system is essentially a class-based system it gets swallowed up in that paradigm, as the working class will say, “Well, join the queue.”‘

The actor was the son of two Bajan immigrants and grew up in Birmingham before his agent advised he move to the States. 

David currently resides in Streatham, London with long-term girlfriend Kirsty Handy and their two daughters.

David, who is also known for his role as J'onn J'onzz in Supergirl (pictured), said he felt it was 'difficult' to get people to realise racism is still a problem in the UK

David, who is also known for his role as J'onn J'onzz in Supergirl (pictured), said he felt it was 'difficult' to get people to realise racism is still a problem in the UK

David, who is also known for his role as J’onn J’onzz in Supergirl (pictured), said he felt it was ‘difficult’ to get people to realise racism is still a problem in the UK

Earlier this month David detailed his struggle to find work prior to landing the role as CIA Counterterrorism Director David Estes in Homeland, admitting he only had £80 to his name before taking the part. 

Speaking to Sue Perkins on her podcast ‘An hour or so with…’, he said: ‘When I was a father, [there was] a whole new situation where I had to make some money, put some food on the table. 

‘I went through a period of playing just s**t stuff because I just needed the money. The weekend before I left for Homeland and for America, I had £80 in the bank – I was done, my career was done.

‘I remember sitting in bed, looking up at the ceiling, thinking “I’m done”. I thought “should I go work in the post office, should I drive a bus”.

‘When Homeland came in and I got it, it was just a miracle.’

Struggle: Earlier this month, David said it was hard for him to find work prior to landing a role in Homeland (pictured), which was a 'miracle' as he only had £80 to his name before being cast

Struggle: Earlier this month, David said it was hard for him to find work prior to landing a role in Homeland (pictured), which was a 'miracle' as he only had £80 to his name before being cast

Struggle: Earlier this month, David said it was hard for him to find work prior to landing a role in Homeland (pictured), which was a ‘miracle’ as he only had £80 to his name before being cast

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