Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ruth Negga is latest Irish star to be claimed by the Brits as one of their own

Ruth Negga wearing an ACLU ribbon. (AP)
Ruth Negga wearing an ACLU ribbon. (AP)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Ruth Negga is latest Irish star to be claimed by the Brits as one of their own.

The Ethiopian Irish actress, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for her role in Loving, is described as British in the latest issue of the Mail on Sunday's You magazine.

In an article titled, 'Meet the SUPER STYLIST superstars - and the fashion icons they've created', Amy E Williams writes about LA stylist Karla Welch who she credits with helping 'under-the-radar' actresses to secure 'high-profile, big-bucks roles'.

"This year, LA-based Karla was named Hollywood’s most powerful stylist, not least for catapulting British star Ruth Negga into the sartorial stratosphere," writes Williams.

Ruth was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but was raised in Ireland from the age of four and has spoken about being Ethiopian Irish.

She continues, "Ruth was Oscar-nominated for her role in Loving, but it was arguably her red-carpet attire that got her noticed.

"Karla even coined the hashtag #MeggaNegga to promote her newest protégée, and the influential Hollywood Reporter (which publishes the yearly power index of stylists) concluded at the close of this year’s awards season: ‘A year ago, the world had never heard of Ruth Negga, and between her subtle turn in Loving…and her exquisitely standout red-carpet presence, courtesy of Welch, the actress is now a fashion force.’"

It's certainly not the first time Irish stars have been subsumed into the UK.

Dara O Briain recently took umbrage at being called British in a Guardian review of his latest TV show, Dara and Ed's Road to Mandalay.

Dara O Briain and Ed Byrne decided to tackle another epic trip.

The review read, "Some things, unfortunately, don't change.  Neither does the increasingly dull formula of sending white British men to far-flung places in search of "strange and quirky" aspects of other cultures."

Tweeting his response to the review, O Briain wrote, "Bravo @guardian telly review!  Accuses us of cultural insensitivity, while in the same sentence subsuming Ireland back into Britain..."

In 2015 The London Film Critic's Circle were forced to recognise Irish stars Saoiirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell and Emma Dongohue as Irish and not British after public outcry.

Ronan, Farrell and Fassbender had been nominated in the Best British Actress/Actor categories while Emma Donoghue was up for Breakthrough British Filmmaker of the Year.

The late, great Richard Harris was also often labelled British when in fact he was born in Limerick in 1930.  Similarly, Michael Gambon was born in Cabra in 1940.  And Bridesmaids and Moone Boy star Chris O'Dowd has been mistaken for a British star on more than one occasion.

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