Perhaps he's been selected because the NT can get a cheap deal if they need to stay over or hold a meeting at a Premier Inn?
There's a lot of them all over the UK. Very convenient.
One right next door to the NT, in fact!
Never seen the appeal of that hotel chain to be honest. Rooms dont seem very private especially that one in Kings Cross where the bed is in the middle of the concourse. What if you need a wee in the middle of the night?
I think the first thing that jumped to mind for me was why Lenny Henry? The vast majority of his career has been as a not very funny comic who, when that career started to fade, jumped into the charity bandwagon and bagged a knighthood out of it (remind you of anyone? cough*Geldof*cough*). He's inly been in "legit" theatre for 5 minutes and I have no idea whether he's good, bad or mediocre but I bet there are many respected actors of all ethnicities wondering "why Lenny?" too.
Don't you usually have to apply to be a trustee? Or can you just be asked as well? I often see ads around for them, so I just assumed some sort of formal application process was in place. (There certainly is at my organisation. And if we're looking to develop a certain aspect of the organisation, then we'll look specifically for a certain kind of qualified candidate.)
If all that is also true for the NT, then surely only others who applied for Henry's post and didn't get it are entitled to feel aggrieved in any way? As with any other job application, diversity related or not...
Shouldn't we all be being a bit more supportive of this move? If we care about diversity in the arts (as quite a few of us seem to, judging by previous forum conversations), surely this formal recognition of their responsibilities by the NT can only be a good thing?
Improving BME representation within writing, acting, directing, crew etc shouldn't just be Henry's responsibility, of course - but one would hope they've chosen him because he has the necessary interest, drive and ideas to make change happen. As well as knowing what sort of supposedly 'helpful ideas' will go down like a lead balloon with the target 'audience' - you know, like the people who created pink pens 'for women' didn't. Or the coding course 'aimed at women' that talked about hairdryers a lot... Sigh.
He acted at the NT in Comedy of Errors so perhaps he made a few contacts at that time. I think if a guy wants to do the job then let him and I don't think he is the sort of person to be a token ethnic, is he? Often it is these not quite brilliant people who work at making a difference. You can say Geldof wasn't much of a pop star but he was certainly a mega fund raiser or awareness raiser.