Actor Sir Lenny Henry Shows That 64% Of Minority Actors Are Racially Profiled In New Study
A new study surveyed by Sir Lenny Henry is uncovering potential racism in the entertainment industry.
Sir Lenny Henry, who is an actor and comedian, conducted the survey that included just over 1,300 participants. The survey found that more than half of actors who identify as ethnic, have dealt with racism at work.
When addressing the findings, Sir Lenny Henry said,
“This report finally brings into the open what many of us talk about, and suffer, in private. We all work in this industry because we love it, but we must do better.”
” [It’s] a stain against the entire industry.”
The report, which was initially for the Media Diversity division at Birmingham City University, also showed that racial stereotypes are often a part of the casting process, as both Black and Caribbean actors have been asked to act more “sassy” and/or “street.”
An actress from a Middle Eastern background said,
“All the roles that were specific to my heritage were all stereotypical, including a terrorist daughter, immigrant, and scripts written with broken English.”
Sir Lenny Henry’s report also aligned with a 2016 survey conducted by the British Film Institute that showed actors of African and Caribbean descent were almost always cast for roles ‘connected to oppression.’
Henry, who has appeared in projects like Doctor Who and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, added,
“Every time we see a great actor like Thandie Newton, Idris Elba or David Harewood leave these shores to find opportunities denied to them in the UK, it is a painful reminder of why casting is so important.”
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