So the BBC wants Luther to be more of instantly recognisable stereotype? Not sure that’s a step in the right direction. So it is a requirement of being a black individual that they MUST eat jerk chicken, wear dreadlocks, and like Bob Marley? The BBC‘s diversity chief has claimed Idris Elba’s TV detective Luther ‘isn’t black enough to be real’ because ‘he doesn’t have any black friends and doesn’t eat any Caribbean food’. Miranda Wayland said the hit crime drama, which won plaudits for having a strong, black lead character, was only superficially diverse and that corporation bosses are now looking to portray minority groups in a more convincing and rounded way.
Elba, who first made his name across the Atlantic starring as Stringer Bell in The Wire, cemented his status as a worldwide star by picking up a Golden Globe, among other gongs, for his depiction of the obsessive John Luther between 2010 and 2019.Wayland addressed the diversity on the BBC show in a recent MIPTV conference. “When it first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, Black character lead,” Wayland began. “We all fell in love with him. Who didn’t, right? But after you got into about the second series, you got kind of like, OK, he doesn’t have any Black friends, he doesn’t eat any Caribbean food, this doesn’t feel authentic.”
Luther, which began in 2010, sees the titular detective chief become romantically involved with murderer Alice Morgan, played by Ruth Wilson. Series five cast Wunmi Mosaku (His House) in the role of DS Catherine Halliday, but few other central characters alongside Luther are played by Black actors. Discussing what can be done, Wayland added: “It’s about making sure that everything around them — their environment, their culture, the set — is absolutely reflective. ”A BBC spokesperson responded in a statement saying that : “Luther is a multi-award winning crime drama series and the iconic role of DCI John Luther has become one of TV’s most powerful detective characters of which we are tremendously proud. The key question is that, when I watch a programme, any programme, the last thing I think about is their race and food they should be eating. I would say that this is ridiculous. We live in a diverse world with a diverse cultures and food. We can eat what we like or not! Meanwhile, Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin star in Concrete Cowboy an American Western drama, which follows the story of young boy who goes to live with his estranged father in Philadephia and becomes involved in the world of urban horseback riding . Based on the novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri, it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and is out on Netflix on 2 April.
Author: Linda .R. Jones