Simon Pegg spoke out in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement, noting that a push for more diversity has been a long time coming in the entertainment industry.
The “Shaun of the Dead” actor pulled no punches when discussing the ongoing protests happening throughout the world sparked by the police-involved death of George Floyd on May 25. Speaking to The Observer, the 50-year-old star said that a reevaluation about race in the entertainment industry is long overdue.
“Anyone that’s complaining about it should just shut the f— up because it’s time,” he told the outlet. “The film industry would be such a healthier, more interesting place if there were more voices, different stories, different experiences. It’s so dominated by one particular voice and color of face, it just perpetuates a bland mono-voiced cultural landscape.”
In an effort to put his money where his mouth is, Pegg has been meeting with Cephas Williams from 56 Black Men, a group dedicated to changing the way black people are characterized in mainstream media, on behalf of his Stolen Pictures production company.
Simon Pegg spoke out in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement.
To illustrate his point, Pegg noted that his latest film, ”Lost Transmissions,” marks the first time in his career of more than two decades that he’s worked with a female director.
“How alarming is that?” he said.
The movie sees the mostly comedic actor wading into some dense, dramatic subject matter — mental health. In the movie, he plays a music producer whose mental health suddenly deteriorates into showing signs of schizophrenia. In order to prepare for the role, Pegg did some work studying what people with that particular mental condition go through. He explained that it gave him some perspective on how society treats people with mental illness and what has to change.
“It tries to dismantle that myth that madness inspires great art,” he said. “You don’t have to be in pain to be a great artist.”
With that, he took a quick jab at President Trump, alleging that the he is often guilty of using derogatory language to dismiss people with mental health issues.
“Trump does it all the time, refers to people as mad and crazy, because then he immediately eradicates that person’s human credibility,” the actor shared. “Which speaks to how little we value people with mental health issues in society. You’re redundant, your voice means nothing, your ideas mean nothing, you’re a reject.”
The actor’s next project will be co-starring in the seventh installment of the “Mission Impossible” franchise, once production starts back up again after shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic.