Chiwetel Ejiofor thinks its "shocking" he had to go to America to find work because of the issue of "non-representation" in the UK.
The 43-year-old actor insisted "non-representation" is an issue in the UK and he was unable to find the support or roles he was looking for in Britain so had to set his sights further.
He said: "Look, I know what non-representation feels like, as do so many black people in this country. To walk into a room and not see anyone who looks like you?
" I had to go to America to get the work I wanted, rather than get the support and work I wanted in the UK and that, to me, was shocking. Shocking."
"The Old Guard" actor also reflected on feeling "other" when growing up in east London.
He told the new issue of GQ Hype magazine: "I also know what it feels like to be considered 'other'. I grew up in the 1980s in Forest Gate, East London.
"Back then there was what is termed in America this notion of white flight - inner city, once predominantly white communities becoming more diverse. Let's just say where I lived in the East End the white community wasn't going particularly quietly.
"At times I remember I would have to come home from school through National Front marches, with my father holding my hand as we'd bolt across the road. I know what lack of representation means.
"I know how it can fester and build ideas of the 'other', how it can create xenophobia and what that feels like... a fear of the stranger. So am I optimistic? Yes... Yes, I am. Just cautiously so."
While Chiwetel is hopeful for the future, he warned it will take several lifetimes to completely eradicate racism and it won't happen until white people get involved in making change.
He said: "Anti-black racism has been one of the fundamental parts of modern history in the Western world. It is baked into the cake of the occidental world in a way that few other things are. It's like the flour in the cake.
"And this anti-black racism is heightened by colonialism and by the slave trade. So the profitability of black and brown bodies has become essential to how the West has worked.
"Dismantling these systems is the work of several lifetimes - my life, yes, but also those that come after me.
"The thing is it is very difficult to do this. All these systems need to survive is a sort of apathy from the white community.
"This is why these white supremacist power systems continue to be considered the norm.
"The white people, whether they're good natured or whether they're not, will by and large let it run. They won't get involved. They won't care about it enough.
"So, yes, white people will turn and say, 'Oh, this is a terrible thing. Systematic racism is awful, isn't it?' but unless those same white people actually start to get involved, then the system will stay. This is why education is so important."