The 12 Years a Slave star told GQ Hype that he had never been taught about “British imperialism or imperial adventure” in school and felt that Britain’s history was being “purposefully obfuscated” by the government.
“What was happening in the empire was and still isn’t taught,” Ejiofor said. “Michael Gove recently mentioned not being critical of Britain in the education system – but this is just propaganda.
“This is why people don’t know the background to certain statues or why people don’t understand that in a liberal democracy having statues of slave traders is an objective harm.”
In response to Black Lives Matter protests in the US, many British protesters have called for the removal of statues dedicated to slave owners across the country, the most notable being the toppling of a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol.
Asked whether he trusted Boris Johnson to correctly honour the campaigners’ demands, Ejiofor said: “I think that this entire political class belongs to a different era… perhaps, like me, you’d want a type of politician that isn’t working the system for continual political gain, but is someone who is more representative of the broader spectrum of multicultural Britain, someone from the grassroots.
“The way the party system works, how people are elected to power, doesn’t seem vastly democratic to me. These men and women who all went to one or two schools and one or two universities seem desperately out of touch to most people.”