According to the BBC’s chief of diversity, the Sierra Leone native actor Idris Elba, currently living in London, is not “black” enough.
Luther is a crime drama TV series that is hugely popular with critics and audiences alike. The main character is Detective John Luther, played by Golden Globe winner Idris Elba.
Luther is a strong, charismatic, intelligent black man who tends to use unorthodox methods in investigating crimes. This was not sufficient for the woke media corporation leadership. According to the Daily Mail, BBC Diversity Director Miranda Wayland criticised the TV detective for “not [being] black enough to be real” and “not having black friends and not eating Caribbean food.”
Wayland in a press conference this week said that the TV series featuring black Detective John Luther is only superficially diverse and that the UK broadcaster is striving to portray minorities in a more convincing and rounded way than they have. Wayland pointed out that in order to achieve true representation, an environment and culture need to be built around black characters that is completely reflective of their background.
“When [Luther] first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, black character lead,” Wayland explained. “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,” she added.
Many came out in defence of the character and the actor rejecting Miranda Wayland’s statements. Writer Neil Cross, creator of Luther, said he was surprised by the broadcaster’s statements and insists that Idris Elba accepted the role primarily because skin colour was not a determinant aspect of the character’s identity. The corporation has also officially defended the character and stated they are “tremendously proud” that the show has attracted 10 million viewers and has been sold to 200 countries around the world.