‘Second Coming’ is a haunting new British drama about a family of black Londoners dealing with an unexpected, perhaps even unearthly domestic dilemma. Local rap artist Ty, whose music features on the soundtrack and is performing live shows to support the film, has some words of advice for the British film industry when it comes to the depiction of minority characters on screen.
‘The film industry has a large part to play in how people perceive each other, and they’ve not paid enough attention to the damage they cause in enforcing stereotypes. I’m not just talking about race, it cuts across gender, too. We’re teaching children to view themselves in a particular way, and to view other people in a particular way.
‘One of the biggest things I’d like to change about the UK industry is to see them offer interesting roles that don’t necessarily subscribe to a particular narrative to more actors of all backgrounds. For instance, with a film that’s set in Victorian or Edwardian times, they only have a particular type of person in the background, and that’s not realistic. I’m not saying everything needs to be multicultural. I’m saying we need to show that the world back then had different types of people living within spitting distance of each other, because it’s true. We’ve helped to perpetuate a stereotype that needs to be exploded.
‘Things have to change, because society’s changing. Look at the uproar around ‘Annie’ or ‘The Hunger Games’, which was attacked online by some white fans for casting a mixed-race actor. In a way, I can’t even blame those people. The media has made them that way. We’re taught that heroes look a particular way, and all of a sudden there’s a heroic black character on screen. But it needs to change, not even for our children, but for our children’s children. They need to grow up with better images.’