Jacob Anderson, the actor who plays the beloved Grey Worm on Game of Thrones, said the show "could've been better" about racial diversity and representation over the years.
On BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show AM to DM on Friday, Anderson addressed the criticism about the show's lack of diversity ahead of its highly anticipated final season.
“It’s a weird thing, because I’m very proud to be a part of the show,” Anderson said. "I think ... it could've been better," he added, referring to the show's diversity.
The HBO series, adapted from the original novels by George R.R. Martin and helmed by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, has long been criticized for not casting more people of color and its lack of diverse representation onscreen.
Anderson said that the show "touched on" what it was like to be "othered in that kind of world" through his character — the commander of the Unsullied soldiers — and the character of Missandei — Daenerys Targaryen's trusted adviser — portrayed by Nathalie Emmanuel.
Anderson said that he and Emmanuel "have those conversations" about racial diversity on the show. "That’s not a thing that’s lost on us,” he said.
“I think it’s the kind of thing that’s like, you want to have a really thoughtful conversation about it," he added.
Anderson said he understood the "impulse" to criticize the show for its lack of diversity, but added that he and Emmanuel's characters often "get erased" from conversations about representation on the show.
“I saw an article the other day that was basically like, there are no black people in GoT, which I could understand where that impulse [comes from] ... but I think Nathalie and I do get erased from the conversation quite a lot,” he said.
“Which sucks, because I think sometimes we get erased from the strength of an argument that doesn’t need strengthening," he said.
“We kind of know that there could’ve been a bit more representation over the years,” Anderson said. “But I think that everybody’s kind of mindful of that.”
Anderson said the show's final season “smashed” his expectations, and he urged fans to ignore any theories about the show so they don’t set themselves up for disappointment.
The actor said he’s also rooting for Grey Worm and Missandei's love story on the show.
“Those kids are so good, they’re so pure,” he said. “They deserve some happiness.”