Lenny Henry has been accused of propagating a ‘black saviour narrative’ in films where he visits a succession of Premier Inns in deprived areas. David Lammy MP complained the ads conveyed a ‘racist narrative’ in depicting a black man arriving in deprived areas like Halifax, bringing all-you-can-eat breakfasts until 10 a.m. to the huddled masses.
Working for the Executive Relief charity, Henry can be seen comforting impoverished receptionists and dishevelled-looking conference attendees. Businessmen are shown fighting over scraps, having arrived after the breakfast cut-off. In one scene, the bread-and-condensed-milk star dances to Whigfield at a sales convention in a patronising mockery of indigenous culture.
Lammy said: ‘These people are living in miserable conditions on top of having to attend rancorous conventions and torrid weddings. Some have been forced to play golf for up to six hours. It is insulting to use images of Henry acting the hero among these desperate-looking businessmen, many of whom have not seen a decent breakfast for several days.’