David Morrissey has said that the arts are being closed off to many young people by a culture of elitism.
The British actor and film director said he is concerned that creative professions, including acting, are being made financially off-limits to aspirational young people from working class backgrounds.
“Too often now, people come into the profession subsidised by their parents and they’re not being paid," Morrissey said in an interview with the Radio Times.
"We’re creating an intern culture – it’s happening in journalism and politics as well – and we have to be very careful because the fight is not going to be there for people from more disadvantaged backgrounds."
The Liverpool-born actor comes from a modest background. His father worked as a shoe-repair man and his mother worked in Littlewoods.
He added: “It worries me that in the arts, which is essentially a very rich community, we’re not offering more support. Television is doing very well for itself, but the trickledown effect isn’t working.”
The Walking Dead star said he might not have achieved such success if he had been climbing the professional ladder today.
“There’s an economic exclusion of working- class people happening now,” he said.
“I got lucky, but if I was starting out now, it would be a lot harder, because my parents could never have supported me. I was able to go to drama school with a grant. I was able to do stuff at the Everyman and work there at the same time. “