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Diversity in Television: Lenny Henry 18 months on

Sir Lenny Henry returns to BAFTA

In partnership with Creative Diversity Network

Tuesday 17th November
BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly

Sir Lenny Henry returns to BAFTA, a year and a half after his headline-grabbing lecture held the TV industry to account for their record on diversity, to assess what progress has been made and consider if this will be enough to ensure growth and sustainability for diverse talent in the TV industry.

In his 2014 BAFTA Television Lecture Sir Lenny called for new legislation to reverse the “appalling percentage” of BAME people working in the television industry. Lenny proposed a plan to ring-fence money for BAME programming, hoping for “radical change” to achieve a screen where “great programmes are produced by the multi-cultural many as opposed to the mono-cultural elite”.

In response, broadcasters announced a raft of initiatives, some with specific targets, some with guidelines and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Ofcom recently issued ‘Thinking Outside the Box’, new legal guidance aimed at myth-busting what companies can and can’t do to encourage and promote diversity.

After hearing Lenny’s views, an industry panel with representatives from major broadcasters, the production sector and stakeholders will debate and discuss how the new strategies are shaping up, exploring case study successes as well as debating the ongoing challenges.

What’s the experience now like for production companies and broadcasters, is diversity part of their conversation and have hiring and commissioning practices genuinely improved? Is the picture any rosier for the future and how can we ensure the industry works together to make progress to banish this ‘stubborn stain’ (Lord Holmes, EHRC) on its reputation?

More information here.