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Parminder Nagra TV show turned me down for being of Indian

Parminder Nagra  TV show turned me down for being of Indian


Parminder Nagra says she was turned down for a part over her … Thu, 29 Apr 2021 08:00:00 +0100-Bend it Like Beckham and ER actress Parminder Nagra says she was rejected by "a well-known TV show".

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Parminder Nagra: TV show turned me down for being of Indian descent

image copyrightGetty Images
image caption“I've been in rooms where people have gone, 'That's not going to sell because there's just too many brown people in it'”

British-Asian actress Parminder Nagra has said she was once turned down for a role on a well-known US TV show because they “already had an Indian person”.

She told a podcast she had also heard producers on an unnamed production say “too many brown people” would not sell.

Nagra made her name in the 2002 UK film Bend It Like Beckham before appearing in the US medical drama series ER.

While noting how on-screen diversity had improved, she said she hoped it was not just a quota-filling exercise.

“We're having the conversations happening more and more and things have moved on,” she told the Celebrity Catch Up podcast.

“My fear is that – which I think was happening a few years ago – it became about, 'Oh well let's get this box ticked',” continued the actress, who lives in Los Angeles.

“I remember asking to go for a job because an actress basically left – it was a well-known TV show here. I remember phoning my agent and I went, 'Do you think maybe you could just suggest me? The character is very non-specific in terms of family and between 35 and 40 [years of age].

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionLeft to right: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Shaznay Lewis at the Bend It Like Beckham premiere

“And the word that came back was that they've already got an Indian person on the cast.

“I went, 'Yeah but I'm completely different to that person'. Is that ever gonna happen when you say that, 'No we've already got a white person on the show'?

“I don't think that conversation is happening – so it's just very hard.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2018, Nagra revealed that during the promotion of Bend it Like Beckham, a magazine refused to put her on its cover alongside co-star Keira Knightly because of the colour of her skin.

She told the podcast she had experienced lots of “annoying”, “tiring” and “odd” moments like that in her career. Yet, she said, she was still optimistic that real lasting change could occur.

“I've been in rooms where people have gone, 'Oh that's not going to sell because there's just too many brown people in it', and you go, 'Oh. OK',” she continued.

“Do you keep pounding? There's moments where you get tired and then there's people that do keep doing that and then they break another glass ceiling.

“You've got Riz Ahmed and Priyanka Chopra – they've got deals with networks and stuff like that, and so things have moved on.

“But, yeah, that was a story for the books and there was lots of little stories like that.”

Nagra will be seen in her latest role in Sky space drama Intergalactic from Friday.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

image copyrightGetty Images
image caption“I've been in rooms where people have gone, 'That's not going to sell because there's just too many brown people in it'”

British-Asian actress Parminder Nagra has said she was once turned down for a role on a well-known US TV show because they “already had an Indian person”.

She told a podcast she had also heard producers on an unnamed production say “too many brown people” would not sell.

Nagra made her name in the 2002 UK film Bend It Like Beckham before appearing in the US medical drama series ER.

While noting how on-screen diversity had improved, she said she hoped it was not just a quota-filling exercise.

“We're having the conversations happening more and more and things have moved on,” she told the Celebrity Catch Up podcast.

“My fear is that – which I think was happening a few years ago – it became about, 'Oh well let's get this box ticked',” continued the actress, who lives in Los Angeles.

“I remember asking to go for a job because an actress basically left – it was a well-known TV show here. I remember phoning my agent and I went, 'Do you think maybe you could just suggest me? The character is very non-specific in terms of family and between 35 and 40 [years of age].

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionLeft to right: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Shaznay Lewis at the Bend It Like Beckham premiere

“And the word that came back was that they've already got an Indian person on the cast.

“I went, 'Yeah but I'm completely different to that person'. Is that ever gonna happen when you say that, 'No we've already got a white person on the show'?

“I don't think that conversation is happening – so it's just very hard.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2018, Nagra revealed that during the promotion of Bend it Like Beckham, a magazine refused to put her on its cover alongside co-star Keira Knightly because of the colour of her skin.

She told the podcast she had experienced lots of “annoying”, “tiring” and “odd” moments like that in her career. Yet, she said, she was still optimistic that real lasting change could occur.

“I've been in rooms where people have gone, 'Oh that's not going to sell because there's just too many brown people in it', and you go, 'Oh. OK',” she continued.

“Do you keep pounding? There's moments where you get tired and then there's people that do keep doing that and then they break another glass ceiling.

“You've got Riz Ahmed and Priyanka Chopra – they've got deals with networks and stuff like that, and so things have moved on.

“But, yeah, that was a story for the books and there was lots of little stories like that.”

Nagra will be seen in her latest role in Sky space drama Intergalactic from Friday.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.


... read more

Parminder Nagra: TV show turned me down for being of Indian … Thu, 29 Apr 2021 08:00:00 +0100-She discussed the incident on the Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did? podcast.

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Parminder Nagra says she was turned down for a part over her Indian heritage

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‘Postman Pat: The Movie’ Premiere – London

Parminder Nagra has said she was once turned down for a role on a TV programme because it had “already got an Indian person on the cast”.

The actress told the Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did? podcast the same thing would not be said about a white person.

The Bend It Like Beckham star said conversations about diversity can sometimes become about getting a “box ticked”.

image
(Andy Butterton/PA)

She added: “I remember asking to go up for a job because an actress basically left. It was a well-known TV show here.

“An actress had left the job because basically she’d fallen out with the other actor.

“I remember phoning my agent and I went, ‘Do you think maybe you could just suggest me?’

“The character’s very non-specific in terms of family and between 35 and 40.”

image
(Myung Jung Kim/PA)

She added the “word that came back was that they have already got an Indian person on the cast”.

“I went, ‘Yeah but I’m completely different to that person’.

“Is that going to happen when you say we have already got a white person on the show? I don’t think that conversation’s happening.”

Nagra said things have “moved on” in terms of diversity in the television industry, sighting the success of Riz Ahmed and Priyanka Chopra.

“I have been in rooms where people have gone, ‘That’s not going to sell because there’s too many brown people in it’.”

 

image

‘Postman Pat: The Movie’ Premiere – London

Parminder Nagra has said she was once turned down for a role on a TV programme because it had “already got an Indian person on the cast”.

The actress told the Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did? podcast the same thing would not be said about a white person.

The Bend It Like Beckham star said conversations about diversity can sometimes become about getting a “box ticked”.

image
(Andy Butterton/PA)

She added: “I remember asking to go up for a job because an actress basically left. It was a well-known TV show here.

“An actress had left the job because basically she’d fallen out with the other actor.

“I remember phoning my agent and I went, ‘Do you think maybe you could just suggest me?’

“The character’s very non-specific in terms of family and between 35 and 40.”

image
(Myung Jung Kim/PA)

She added the “word that came back was that they have already got an Indian person on the cast”.

“I went, ‘Yeah but I’m completely different to that person’.

“Is that going to happen when you say we have already got a white person on the show? I don’t think that conversation’s happening.”

Nagra said things have “moved on” in terms of diversity in the television industry, sighting the success of Riz Ahmed and Priyanka Chopra.

“I have been in rooms where people have gone, ‘That’s not going to sell because there’s too many brown people in it’.”


... read more
– April 29, 2021
Parminder Nagra TV show turned me down for being of Indian

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