BBC Diversity Chief Declares Idris Elba Character Not Black Enough to Be 'Authentic'
Wanting more "representation" in entertainment is an understandable goal. It's an important goal I support. Don't let my mayonnaise-looking complexion imply otherwise. "Diversity" for diversity's sake is silly and something that needs to be ridiculed at all times. We've seen cartoon voice actors losing jobs because the actor and the cartoon character look different. A dinner theater was canceled in Minnesota recently because it had too many white folks in it. We've gotten to the point where a black actor isn't black enough to play a black character. Or the actor is black enough but the character isn't black enough. It all gets too confusing.
Idris Elba plays the title character on the BBC's Luther, a popular crime drama. The BBC also has a diversity chief, Miranda Wayland, to ensure the BBC's diversity. Idris Elba is black (he's British, so "African American" doesn't apply). He's the lead character of a hugely successful show. Yay diversity, right? Not so fast, according to Wayland. She addressed a media conference recently.
When [Luther] first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, black character lead.
The .gifs are because I have quite a few friends who get warm and tingly just hearing the name "Idris Elba." You're welcome, ladies.
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, okay, he doesn't have any Black friends, he doesn't eat any Caribbean food, this doesn't feel authentic.
It would have been an act of tremendous arrogance for me to try to write a Black character. We would have ended up with a slightly embarrassed, ignorant, middle-class, White writer's idea of a Black character.
It appears Idris Elba was cast in the role just for being the right person and an incredible actor. His race wasn't a factor. In the olden days, meaning pre-2018, that was the goal. The irony here being if Cross wrote Elba as eating Caribbean food and hanging out in whatever the British version of the barbershop is, there would be calls for him to be fired. Hell, half the jokes I want to make would get me deplatformed by the bollocks wankers at Facebook.
I've never watched Luther. After Matt Smith transitioned into an older Scottish man, I don't even know what channel the BBC is. Maybe Luther just doesn't like Caribbean food. Maybe he's never been to the Caribbean. He's a British detective. At the end of a long day doing Luther things, maybe he just wants a burger and a lukewarm beer. The BBC diversity chief seems to think it's a bad thing that Luther/Elba doesn't match her stereotype of what someone who looks like Luther/Elba should be. In the olden days (again, pre-2018) we didn't call that diversity. It was called something else.
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