'Luther': Idris Elba's Character Wasn't 'Authentic' Because He Didn't Have Black Friends, Says BBC Diversity Chief
Photo Credit: BBC

'Luther': Idris Elba's Character Wasn't 'Authentic' Because He Didn't Have Black Friends, Says BBC Diversity Chief

Idris Elba is perhaps well known for his portrayal of DCI John Luther on BBC's acclaimed psychological crime drama, LutherHowever, the character was the subject of criticism by BBC's diversity chief.

Recently, BBC diversity chief Miranda Wayland made waves for commenting about the fictional detective's authenticity — or lack thereof — at the MIPTV Conference this week.

“When it first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, Black character lead,” Wayland said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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 went on to state the importance of cultural signifiers and specificity, noting it is imperative that television bosses ensure Black characters' who have an environment and culture that is  "reflective" of their background.

“It’s great having those big landmark shows with those key characters, but it’s about making sure everything around them, their environment, their culture, the set is absolutely reflective,” Wayland continued. “It will be very much about how can we make sure that this program is authentic in terms of the storytelling.”

It should be noted that Luther was written and created by Neil Cross, a white man. Wayland's moments drew discussion and criticism on racial stereotypes on social media.

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