Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Steve McQueen: Grenfell happened because no-one was listening to poor people

Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen

Oscar-winning filmmaker Sir Steve McQueen has said the Grenfell Tower fire happened because “no-one was listening to poor people”.

The 12 Years A Slave and Small Axe director has been a vocal supporter of the families of the victims of the 2017 fire and previously announced a film project acting as a “lasting memorial”.

The June 14 fire, in Kensington, west London, claimed 72 lives and left hundreds homeless.

Grenfell fire anniversary
Grenfell Tower in west London (Steve Parsons/PA)

It was recently reported ministers were set to announce the 24-storey tower would be demolished for safety reasons.

Appearing on Annie Macmanus’ podcast Changes, the 51-year-old said: “And I think with what happened in Grenfell, I remember I was shooting Widows in Chicago when it happened. I just couldn’t believe it. And it happened because people were poor.

“It happened because no-one was listening to poor people. The only reason these people died was because they were poor. That was it. There was no other reason other than that.”

He said the pandemic had meant the project was delayed but he would be able to discuss it further publicly “hopefully soon”.

Sir Steve, whose latest project, Uprising, a three-part series exploring key events in race relations in Britain, will air next year, also recalled experiencing racism while at school.

Speaking about growing up in west London, he said: “There was a little bit of shit going on there, you know, subtle racism going on there. With stuff going on that time, you know, and I thought to myself, you know what? Boom. F*** this, I’m gonna apply to Chelsea. ‘Cause also there was a BTEC course, and then there was a foundation course.

Brit Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Annie Mac (Ian West/PA)

“I’m going to say it, there was always white middle-class people. And they turned their nose up to us, BTEC people. And it was just totally, you know, this class thing, it was really weird. So anyway, I thought, you know what, I’m going to f****** apply to Chelsea School of Art, to do the foundation.”

He added: “And I applied. And I got an interview, which was great. I went there and I got in and they said, your English, I think I had a C in English. Don’t worry about that. Your joining is amazing. You can come in.

“And the funny thing is that years, years later, then the head of that foundation school wrote to me for a recommendation for the school he was applying to, to be the head of.”

The fourth series of Changes with Annie Macmanus airs from now to November 29 with new episodes released weekly.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]