Bend It Like Beckham and ER star Parminder Nagra has revealed that a well-known US TV show turned her down for a role as they "already had an Indian person" in the cast.
British-Asian actress Parminder Nagra, who is best known for her role in the 2002 comedy film and later in medical drama ER, told the Celebrity Catch Up podcast that during her career she has heard producers say "too many brown people" will not sell.
Nagra, who currently lives in Los Angeles also discussed how on-screen diversity had improved but hoped that it was not just a 'box-ticking' exercise.
"We're having the conversations happening more and more and things have moved on," she said.
"My fear is that - which I think was happening a few years ago - it became about, 'Oh well let's get this box ticked'.
"I remember asking to go for a job because an actress basically left - it was a well-known TV show here. I remember phoning my agent and I went, 'Do you think maybe you could just suggest me? The character is very non-specific in terms of family and between 35 and 40 [years of age].
"And the word that came back was that they've already got an Indian person on the cast.
"I went, 'Yeah but I'm completely different to that person'. Is that ever gonna happen when you say that, 'No we've already got a white person on the show'?
Nagra also spoke about the time she wasn't featured alongside her Bend It Like Beckham co-star Keira Knightly on the front cover of a magazine because of the colour of her skin.
She said: "I've been in rooms where people have gone, 'Oh that's not going to sell because there's just too many brown people in it', and you go, 'Oh. OK'."
She continued: "Do you keep pounding? There's moments where you get tired and then there's people that do keep doing that and then they break another glass ceiling.
"You've got Riz Ahmed and Priyanka Chopra - they've got deals with networks and stuff like that, and so things have moved on.