Luther Needs To Be More ‘Authentic’ For Black People, Says BBC Diversity Chief
The lack of other Black characters in Luther means Idris Elba’s character ‘doesn’t feel authentic’, the BBC’s chief of diversity has said.
Idris Elba first appeared as John Luther, the ambitious police detective who befriends both a psychopath and murderer, back in 2010.
Since the show first aired, there have been few other Black actors appearing in the show, and even then only in supporting roles.
At a recent MIPTV conference, BBC’s diversity chief Miranda Wayland said Elba‘s character not have any Black friends and not eating any Caribbean food affects the show’s authenticity.
As per The Times, Wayland said, ‘When it first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there – a really strong, Black character lead. 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,’ Wayland added.
Wayland said the character’s environment should better reflect his background, explaining, ‘It’s about making sure that everything around them – their environment, their culture, the set – is absolutely reflective.’
Addressing Wayland’s comments earlier today, the BBC told Metro that it is committed to ensuring diversity in its shows.
‘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,’ a spokesperson said.
‘The BBC is committed to its continued investment in diversity and recent BBC One dramas I May Destroy You and Small Axe are testament to that,’ they added.
Speaking on The All-New Capital Weekender last month, Elba said shooting for the Luther film is set to begin later this year.
‘I’m super excited and I hope the fans are sort of excited for that. It’s been a long time coming for a movie, so I’m excited about that,’ he said.
The actor had confirmed a film was in the works at the 2020 Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards.
‘I’ve maintained that I’d like to see [Luther] come to a film. That’s what I think we’re headed towards, is a film. I’m looking forward to making that happen. It is happening!’ he said, as per Variety.
‘With a film, the sky is the limit. Obviously, you can be a little bit more bold in the storylines, maybe international, a little bit sort of up the scale. But John Luther is always going to be John Luther,’ he added.
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