...Fashion Arts Cinema Entertainment NEWS 2011 ...
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Kwei Armah & Henry set the agenda for racial quotas @ the Broadcast and Screen International annual conference ...
Lenny Henry calls
for racial quotas
Television and film
stars including Lenny Henry and Kwame Kwei-Armah have called for broadcasters to
implement quotas to increase racial diversity on UK screens.
The pair, speaking
on the Flight of the Black Actor Panel at Broadcast and Screen International’s
Diversify conference yesterday, called for the broadcasters to implement
legislation similar to The Rooney Rule, a racial quota system implemented in
American NFL football that forces clubs to interview black and ethnic minority
“In high-end drama,
there’s no faces that look like me. We need to lobby the government. Maybe
quotas isn’t the right language, maybe we should call them shared targets,”
said Henry, former star of The Comic Strip and Tiswas star.
Kwei-Armah added that black and ethnic minority actors needed to “punch through
the glass ceiling” and lobby the government to improve processes.
“The US set
quotas. They did that thing that we’re so scared to do here,” he said adding that broadcasters should
allocate spending proportionate to viewers.
Kwei-Armah is now
artistic director of theatre company Center Stage in Baltimore. However, he
said that he was disappointed that many black British actors, such as The Wire
and Luther star Idris Elba, had to move to the US to get roles.
“In the UK,
there’s very little diversity of the roles for men or women of colour, but in
the US there’s a diversity of opportunity,” he added. “I’m in a permanent state
of maudlin that that one has to go to the States.”
The pair were
speaking alongside former Eastenders star Sudha Bhuchar, writer, actor and
artistic director of theatre company Tamasha and casting director Des Hamilton
at the event, hosted by Bafta.
Henry said that
mentoring was no longer the only acceptable route for ethnic minority actors.
route is great to a point. We need to kick the door down and take what we want.
We need to collaborate rather than waiting for people to take pity on us,” he
He added that
following the event, action must be taken to avoid the same mistakes being
“I’m very pissed
off with these [events] but if it moves the issue down the road, I’ll chair,”
“We’ve got a lot
of work to do and we’ve got to get on with it. We’re going to have to think of
action points to take away.”
Come to the Victoria and Albert Museum from July 10th-11th and celebrate the 1960's
From film to fashion, music, sports and heritage join stars of the sixties and those they've inspired at this celebratory FILM FESTIVAL & EXHIBITION. Come wearing national dress or styles inspired by the genre and be part of the fun! BOOK NOW! Once they're gone, they're gone!