Jack Thorne

Jack Thorne says British TV and film industry could be “world leader” on disability

Jack Thorne has said the British TV and film industry could be a “world leader” on disability if “radical thinking” is implemented, while the Help writer has raised concerns over the death of social realist drama.

Deadline reports that ahead of the unveiling of a landmark report into disability in TV compiled by his Underlying Health Condition lobbying group, the 2021 Edinburgh TV Festival MacTaggart lecturer said broadcasters are “well aware” of the problem but solving it will be “really really complicated.” 

The report will be unveiled later today at an event to mark International Disability Day.

Thorne lit a fuse in August with a blistering MacTaggart address that slammed the sector for “utterly and totally failing disabled people.”

Underlying Health Condition has since surveyed industry stakeholders on how best to improve accessibility and representation, finding, for example, that there is only one accessible honey wagon in the whole country.

“I can’t begin to tell you the amount of disabled people that have had to crawl across honey wagon floors; they’re not being treated like human beings,” Thorne told Deadline. “We’ve been talking to lots of people and they’ve certainly been supportive and kind but real change is needed now. We need to get down to the nuts and bolts.”

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