ENTERTAINMENT

'Humans' Actress Gemma Chan Slams Lack Of Asian Women In Hollywood Films: 'You're More Likely To See An Alien'

03/08/2015 13:54 BST | Updated 03/08/2015 13:59 BST

'Humans' star Gemma Chan has become the latest actress to speak out on inequality in Hollywood, claiming she's had auditions cancelled because of her colour.

Her beef? The lack of Asian women on screen, which makes her think "you're more likely to see an alien in a Hollywood film".

gemma chan

Gemma Chan's star has risen with hit sci-fi drama 'Humans'

Gemma, who plays a domestic robot (or “synth”) Anita, with signs of sentience, in Channel 4's hit sci-fi drama 'Humans', tells the Telegraph that, while there have been advances in ethnic diversity on television, "there's definitely a lot of room for improvement".

She says, "I've been fortunate in my career, but, yes, there have been many times when I have been told my audition has been cancelled because they're only going to see white people."

Indeed, one of the reasons Chan didn’t pursue an acting career previously was because “growing up, I never saw any Asian faces on TV, so it didn’t feel like a viable option”.

She adds, "The statistics are really depressing. I remember reading some that made me think, ‘Oh, you are more likely to see an alien in a Hollywood film than an Asian woman.'"

humans

Gemma plays Anita, a synth with signs of sentience, in 'Humans', which has been recommissioned

Gemma Chan, who has previously appeared in 'Sherlock', 'Doctor Who', 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' and indie film 'Submarine', is originally from Kent, with a Chinese-Scottish mother, and her father from Hong Kong.

A law graduate, she reveals she initially felt there was no future for her on screen, because... "growing up, I never saw any Asian faces on TV, so it didn’t feel like a viable option”.

Gemma is only the latest actress to speak out on this issue. Zoe Kravitz, daughter of A-listers Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, recently claimed she was excluded from auditions for 'The Dark Knight' because, in her words, "they weren't going urban".

Zoe added to Nylon Magazine that this whole concept confused her. "It was like, 'What does that have to do with anything? I have to play the role like, 'Yo, what's up Batman? What's going on wit chu?'"

rose mcgowan

Rose McGowan has previously spoken out on the curious process of auditions

'Grindhouse' actress Rose McGowan recently disclosed that, when she was set to audition for an Adam Sandler, comedy, she was told, 'push up bras encouraged, and form-fitting jeans'.

She later added that her agent had dropped her for coming out with these revelations.

And 'Honourable Woman' star Maggie Gyllenhaal previously revealed that she had been told that, as a 37-year-old woman, she was too old to play the love interest of a 55-year-old male star.

These revelations come on the heels of the hacked Sony emails, which revealed Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence's salary for 'American Hustle' to be significantly less than those of her male co-stars, only receiving 7% of the profits compared with the 9% of Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper.

Dame Helen Mirren has summed up the problem of sexism and outrageous in Hollywood as, "f***ing outrageous". No doubt she'd be thinking the same thing about Zoe's predicament.

Wonder what we'll be hearing next...

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