A BBC reporter criticizes comedian Lenny Henry for his comments about race and employment practices at the company. Reporter Olenkia Frenkiel says, “Lenny Henry calls for a black dg (Director-General). Any black dg? Regardless of merit, or who they are or what they might have done? What about a Polish dg? Lots of Poles in Britain today. What about a dg with frizzy hair? Or one who’s disabled? Or incredibly small.” Samir Shah, a BBC board member, fired back: “Thirty years after Lenny came into the business, there is not one black person, not one Asian person good enough to be a Controller. It is an outrage and I think Lenny’s call for affirmative action is the least we can do.”(The Times)
“In the wake of Amy Winehouse‘s spectacular Grammys haul, the Black Music Congress has noted that ‘no new African British act has achieved major success in the past two years,’ while Britain’s best-selling ‘black’ music acts are Winehouse, Joss Stone, and Lily Allen.”(Guardian)
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.