Sir Lenny Henry told Goldsmiths filmmaking students to ‘stick to their guns’ and stand up for their writing.
The comedian, actor, director and writer was at Goldsmiths, University of London, on Wednesday afternoon (October 26) to give a talk on the development of his screenplay No Blood, No Foul.
Henry, who is completing a PhD on the role of black people in the media, held a masterclass in which he discussed the subject of his current studies with Goldsmiths students.
“The powerlessness of a writer of colour at the beginning of their career is considerable. You are very much at the mercy of those that hold the purse strings”, said Henry when asked about the film.
“It began as quite a gritty-urban film based in hackney in an Afro-Caribbean area of town, an area I would recognise and it was developed with a, lovely, but predominantly white producer and executive producer, it moved slowly towards middle class white expectations.”
Known for his work with charities such as Comic Relief, Henry is openly critical of the British media for its lack of ethnic diversity.
In a bid to inspire students, Henry urged writers among the audience to stick to their guns.
He added: “I hope it’s a salutary tale for anyone who is a student of creative writing, in the sense that if you don’t stick up for your writing, people will tend to walk all over it. If there’s one thing I hope that came across in the talk is that you’ve got to make the film you want to make.”