TODAY |

Actor Idris Elba says his success 'has not negated racism' for him

Idris Elba says "success has not negated racism" for him.

Idris Elba. Source: Bang Showbiz

The 47-year-old actor and DJ revealed that his parents always warned him he would have to be "twice as good as the white man" to succeed in life and said that even though he is a Hollywood star, he still has to deal with racism.

While taking part in 'The Reckoning: The Arts and Black Lives Matter' event, Elba said: "Success has not negated racism for me. Asking me about racism is like asking me about how long I have been breathing."

Elba said that the first time Black people have "any consciousness around their skin it is usually about racism" and added: "that stays with you regardless of whether you become successful or you beat the system".

Elba also revealed that his parents told him: "if you want to make it in this world, you have to be twice as good as the white man".

Meanwhile, Elba previously credited his parents for setting him on the road to success, explaining that they taught him "the importance of independence" and hard work.

He said: "I was an only child by immigrant parents from Sierra Leone, West Africa. And they worked hard for what they had. This way of life taught me the importance of independence and relying on myself for my own success."

And in 2016, he bemoaned the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry and spoke about the need for better representation for Black people, members of the LGBTQ community, women and those with disabilities.

He said: "You have to ask the question - are Black people normally playing petty criminals? Are women always the love interest or talking about men? Are gay people always stereotyped? Are disabled people ever seen at all?"