Jodie Turner-Smith urges more diversity in the film industry

Jodie Turner-Smith urges more diversity in the film industry

Jodie Turner-Smith has called for more roles to be given to women and ethnic minorities in the film industry.

The 'Queen & Slim' has expressed a desire to use her stardom to help those who aren't given opportunities the chance to succeed in the world of film.

Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, Jodie said: "I want to make my life about not only working with incredible directors, but working with women, working with women of colour, using the opportunities that I have to give opportunities to people where the industry is being gate-kept to them or (who) are not being given to level of respect they deserve when they are extremely talented."

The 34-year-old actress said: "People use the excuse, 'Well, there aren't that many female directors.'

"The reality is there are very many talented female directors, but, again, when you don't have the opportunity and you're not given the opportunity, then that door isn't opened for you and so then it's like, suddenly, 'Oh where are they?' But they haven't been allowed in."

Jodie believes that giving opportunities to those behind the camera can help feed change within the industry.

She said: "When you make casting choices and you hire actors of colour in something, you have to hire people who know how to do their make-up, who know how to do their hair, who know how to light them properly.

"All of these things also have to feed it. You have to hire producers who understand their needs and who understand what kinds of stories we're trying to tell and how to honour those stories so that you don't end up with things that feel like tokenism or strange stereotyping or just leaving out people and excluding them.

"So many times, it's like, we are going to tell a story that involves Black people, but there are no Black people in the writers' room, there are no women in the writers' room. There's so many different elements of it. And all of those things mean money (to hire) the people that are necessary."