Does the Coach Have to be Black? The Sports film, screenwriting and Diversity : a practise based enquiry. / Henry, Lenworth.

2018. 1290 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis




This PhD by practice is an enquiry into the nature of sports films, their status as a genre and how their conventions structure representations of class, gender and race. It also explores current issues related to diversity and inclusion in the film and television industry, and the degree to which the industry exercises constraints upon the widening of participation and representation.
The vehicle for the enquiry is a screenplay written by the author entitled No Blood No Foul, which centres on an ex-basketball player turned janitor and, in so doing, attempts to foreground a black male protagonist. The thesis reflects upon aspects of the writing process and, through a description of the stages of development that it underwent, explores the pressures placed upon the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) screenwriter by producers, script editors and the industry at large. It then analyses the changes in plot character and setting that the screenplay went through and offers an assessment of the consequences of these for representations of class, gender, race and place.
This is then followed by a summary and assessment of interviews with key professionals in the UK film and television industry, designed to illuminate many of the issues of diversity and inclusivity raised by the earlier chapters. The thesis then concludes by bringing together the threads of the argument and offering some recommendations for encouraging diversity in the UK film and television industry.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Hill, John, Supervisor
  • Clayton, Sue , Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 30030235