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Daniel Kaluuya reveals why he refuses to work with less successful white actors

‘Why would I shrink? Why would I dim?’

There’s no doubt about it, Daniel Kaluuya is one of the most talented British stars working in the film industry right now. From his start in Skins to starring in Get Out to releasing his directorial debut The Kitchen on Netflix this week, he hasn’t stopped wowing us for almost two decades.

Which is why, Daniel spent comment sections spinning online when he claimed in a recent interview with GQ he had previously refused to work with less successful white actors on a photoshoot because he wouldn’t look as good.

Essentially, a brand wanted to team him with white actors who he said “had not achieved as much” as him in their careers yet. He said he wanted to make sure he was “representing right” with the brands he was choosing to work with and how they pitched campaigns:

“I said no to them. I didn’t understand it,” he told GQ. “If it’s not a (big) yeah, it’s a no…They wanted to put me against two white actors that hadn’t achieved as much as me. And I was all, “I wanna be on my own. Because that’s not gonna look good.

“I’ve done things. I just feel like I have a certain position. It’s not like, “Oh, I’m so cool.” I’m just like, “I don’t like that,” he explained of the choice. “It’s got to be because of what it means, because I want to be out there and make sure I’m representing right…

“My mum didn’t raise me like that. Why do I shrink myself to make people feel comfortable?” Daniel continued. “I want to do some good, cool (stuff.) I want to help people, and I want to bring jobs. I want everyone to grow artistically. I want to do amazing things…Why would I shrink? Why would I dim?”

Reaction to Daniel’s interview have been ferocious. He’s been called pompous and even, ridiculously, racist: “can you imagine if this was said by a white man,” many asked on Twitter. But others have pointed out Daniel simply stood up for what he deserved— better opportunities, solo features, which someone of his career-standing is well within their rights to expect.

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