Entertainment

Alexander Skarsgard warns of dangers of identity politics and growing tribalism

The Big Little Lies star said social media has eliminated nuance from political debate.

Alexander Skarsgard has spoken about the danger of identity politics, warning that it drives people further apart.

The Big Little Lies star said he believes tribalism often takes priority over intelligent conversation, and more people are existing in echo chambers where their own views are re-enforced.

He told the Press Association: “We play identity politics, and with the tribalism we are drifting further and further from each other, and I definitely don’t think social media is helping.

The Aftermath World Premiere – London
Alexander Skarsgard (Ian West/PA)

“Anything that is nuanced now disappears between the people screaming on the fringes and it’s more important to stay with your tribe than actually try to reach out and have an intelligent conversation with the other side, and to try to understand their point of view and where they are coming from because you might not agree with that person.

“But I think you would learn a lot by doing that, more so than confirmation bias and just reading articles that you already agree with and digging your heels in.”

Skarsgard said he sees parallels between modern global politics and the issues raised in his new film The Aftermath, about a British colonel and his wife who are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, where tensions arise with a German, played by Skarsgard, who owns the house they take over.

He added: “This is about that, isn’t it? When Keira (Knightley)’s character shows up she’s decided. She hates this man because he’s German and in her eyes this is the killer of her son, even though Stefan (played by Skarsgard) obviously had nothing to do with that.

“But by virtue of being German it’s his fault and she doesn’t want to reach out and doesn’t want to talk to him, but then eventually they realise they have a lot in common and they share much more than they first thought.”

The Aftermath is out now in UK cinemas.

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