James Bond star Colin Salmon has said he thinks the young are having a “tough time” and that they should be able to walk the streets without fear.
The actor is an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust which helps the vulnerable young into work and away from youth violence.
Asked whether he thought the work of the trust was needed now more than ever, Salmon admitted he found the demonisation of the young “unacceptable”.
He said: “I’ve never known a time like this. I feel slightly embarrassed about the state of play. I’ve never said this before but I will say this: You cannot hate gay people, you cannot hate women, you cannot hate black people.
“But I hear people say they hate kids. That’s sort of acceptable. And I’m standing here now saying that’s not acceptable.
“Ultimately, we have all been kids and I don’t understand how we can deny that part of ourselves.”
Salmon was speaking at the trust’s Invest In Futures event in London.
The 56-year-old, best known for playing MI6 deputy chief of staff Charles Robinson in three Bond films, said the young urgently needed better support and protection.
He said: “I do believe young people are having a tough time now.
“I think they need to be protected, they need to be looked after, they need to be able to walk the streets without fear and go into clubs without fear; play, climb trees and just be kids without having to pay for a coach. It’s mad.”
The Prince of Wales founded The Prince’s Trust in 1976 to help young people get their lives back on track, and has a history of recruiting recognisable names as ambassadors.