Lenny Henry ‘always surprised’ by means of loss of black and Asian faces at Glastonbury | Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry has mentioned he’s “always surprised” by means of the loss of black and brown other folks at Glastonbury, as he known as for higher illustration of ethnic minorities in all aspects of British society.

The actor and entertainer, whose new BBC documentary exploring identification and belonging is out later this month, mentioned fairs had been a space of British existence the place correct integration used to be nonetheless lacking.

“It’s interesting to watch Glastonbury and look at the audience and not see any black people there,” Henry mentioned in an interview with the journalist Clive Myrie within the Radio Times.

“I’m always surprised by the lack of black and brown faces at festivals. I think, ‘Wow, that’s still very much a dominant culture thing.’”

Henry’s Caribbean Britain, a two-part documentary, includes a host of well-known names from the humanities together with Sonia Boyce, David Harewood, Trevor Nelson and Benjamin Zephaniah sharing their tales and studies of Caribbean tradition in the United Kingdom.

Sir Lenny Henry. Photograph: Matthew Joseph/Comic Relief/PA

His feedback got here as Glastonbury’s co-organiser Emily Eavis mentioned Stormzy’s 2019 headline efficiency used to be “a little bit late maybe”.

The dirt artist and rapper used to be the primary black solo British headliner within the competition’s historical past. Speaking in a brand new BBC Two documentary, celebrating 50 years of the competition at Worthy Farm in Somerset, Eavis mentioned: “He was representing the black community in a very predominantly white festival and obviously that’s a really important moment for us, but it’s also a little bit late maybe. We should have probably done it before.”

The documentary’s director and manufacturer Francis Whately additionally mentioned Glastonbury used to be a just right indicator of what used to be taking place within the larger tune scene. “So, whether that’s with Stormzy or a 50-50 gender split … They’ve always tried to reflect what’s going on in society and in the music industry,” he mentioned.

Henry, who co-founded Comic Relief, used to be born in Dudley in 1958 – a yr after his oldsters arrived in the United Kingdom from Jamaica. He recalled how he used to be instructed by means of his mom as a tender boy that he needed to pass out and combine with native other folks.

“Because my experience up to that point, around the age of nine or 10, was to be a victim of casual racism and to be fighting all the time at school. Suddenly I had something to compare myself to,” he mentioned.

He additionally spoke in regards to the cultural energy of tv and mentioned he want to see the illustration of ethnic minorities, disabled other folks and the LGBTQ+ group within the ingenious industries to proceed to support.

“It’s great to have David Olusoga on television talking about black British history that goes back to Hadrian’s Wall,” he mentioned. “Somewhere the gatekeepers have changed, because now we’re allowed to have you on Mastermind. But how long did that take?

“We still want more representation because we deserve it. We are British citizens, we are colonials. We’ve been in this country, we have grown up in this country, we’ve contributed and a lot of us feel it still isn’t being reciprocated enough. That’s what this documentary is about.”

Henry is a longstanding campaigner for variety within the media and is helping lead the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity at Birmingham University. He additionally has a task within the movie adaptation of Kit de Waal’s My Name Is Leon, which his corporate Douglas Road is generating.

Speaking on the Hay competition about My Name Is Leon, Henry criticised the best way streaming products and services fee content material, announcing they did not nurture new writers, and particularly writers of color, sufficiently.

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