Belfast Telegraph

Naomie Harris worried about world's 'regressive' anti-immigrant rhetoric

Naomie Harris has only experienced blatant racism once in her life, when she was targeted by bullies on a student exchange in France.

Naomie Harris is worried about the "regressive and sad" approach America and Britain are adopting towards immigrants.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently caused controversy when he introduced an order banning people from seven countries from entering America.

And as the daughter of immigrants herself - her mother came to Britain from Jamaica when she was five, while her father made a move from Trinidad - Naomie is becoming increasingly concerned about how this outlook is affecting the immigrant population as a whole.

"The whole foundation of these countries - America in particular - is based on immigration," she told New York magazine in a new interview. "Britain wouldn’t be the country it is without immigration. So it’s madness.

"It just seems so retrograde to talk about these ideas now, at a time when the world is just becoming smaller and more interconnected. And now, to want to take a step backward, almost to the dark ages, where, you know, 'We want monocultures and mono-races,' it just seems really... yeah, regressive. And very sad."

The 40-year-old actress is currently receiving critical acclaim for her role in film Moonlight, for which she has been nominated for an Oscar at the ceremony later this month (Feb17).

The nominations for this year's Academy Awards are significantly more diverse than last year's (16), which prompted the Oscars So White hashtag, and has been hailed by many as a step forward.

When it comes to her own experiences with "blatant" racism, Naomie has been lucky to avoid such targeting, apart from one occasion when she was picked on by bullies during a student exchange in France.

"The only time I’ve ever experienced racism - I’m talking about blatant racism - was in France when I was called a ‘n**ger’ by a bunch of kids and hit on the head," she recalled, adding she was 16 at the time. "It was really shocking. I had never heard that word. I mean, I had heard it, but not used against me... I just thought, What idiots. I didn’t even feel afraid."

© Cover Media

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph