Hit crime drama ‘Luther’ isn’t ‘authentic,’ BBC’s diversity chief says

The BBC’s diversity chief has said its hit detective series “Luther” is not “authentic” enough.

The show’s protagonist, John Luther, played by Idris Elba, “doesn’t have any Black friends, he doesn’t eat any Caribbean food, this doesn’t feel authentic,” said Miranda Wayland.

“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,” she added, speaking Monday about the BBC’s diversity and inclusion strategy at the digital MIPTV conference. “It will be very much about how can we make sure that this program is authentic in terms of the storytelling.”

Wayland is head of the BBC’s creative diversity unit, set up in 2019.

A BBC spokesperson told CNN that the public service broadcaster was “tremendously proud” of Luther. The series, which also starred Ruth Wilson, ran from 2010 to 2019.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

In June last year, the broadcaster said it would put aside £112 million ($154 million) over three years to support diverse production. It has also committed to one-fifth of its off-screen production staff being from diverse backgrounds for future television commissions.

In December, the BBC outlined a new range of diversity initiatives, including a disability content panel and further investment in diverse talent.

CNN has reached out to representatives of Idris Elba and “Luther” writer Neil Cross for comment.

The British star was among 300 Black artists and executives who lent their support in June to a letter calling on Hollywood to step up the battle against racism.

Anthony Horowitz, the author of two recent James Bond books, said in 2015 that Elba was “too street” to play the fictional secret agent, after he was touted as the fans’ choice for the role.

For some, the reference to Elba as “too street” was code for “too black.” Horowitz subsequently apologized for his choice of word.

Blogs

Tennessee State football coach Eddie George names his staff

Tennessee State football coach Eddie George names his staff

New Tennessee State football coach Eddie George officially announced his staff Wednesday. As already reported, George named former NFL coach Hue Jackson the Tigers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and Brandon Fisher, the son of former Titans coach Jeff Fisher, defensive coordinator. Jackson was the coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2011 and the Cleveland…

Eve and Trina’s VERZUZ Battle: Here’s What Happened

Eve and Trina’s VERZUZ Battle: Here’s What Happened

The hip-hop icons went head-to-head for over 20 rounds, playing hits from the past two decades Eve and Trina were the latest MCs to duel on VERZUZ. They went head-to-head earlier this evening, playing hits from their respective catalogs for over 20 rounds. Trina defended her home turf from Miami, while Eve appeared live from…

Cardi B is excited to join the Fast & Furious franchise

Cardi B is excited to join the Fast & Furious franchise

Cardi B is excited to join the Fast & Furious franchise. The rapper will be playing a new character named Leysa in her second major movie role ever. She appeared in a new promo video published on Tuesday to promote the performances. “Vin Diesel reached out, and he was talking about a role. I’m like,…