Idris Elba Isn’t ‘Authentic Black Lead’ In ‘Luther,’ Says BBC Diversity Chief

Idris Elba in Luther

Idris Elba in Luther isn’t an ‘authentic black lead,’ says the BBC Diversity Chief. 

Miranda Wayland has criticised the crime drama as Detective John Luther has no ‘black friends’ and ‘doesn’t eat any Carribean food’ in the show. 

When it first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there – a really strong, Black character lead,” Wayland told the MITPV conference, according to The Times

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Idris Elba in Luther
Idris Elba in Luther isn’t an ‘authentic black lead’ says BBC diversity chief. Credit: BBC

“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’s about making sure that everything around them – their environment, their culture, the set – is absolutely reflective.”

But according to the show’s writer, Neil Cross, the character wasn’t intended to be played by a black lead. 

Previously, he commented: “I have no knowledge or expertise or right to try to tackle in some way the experience of being a Black man in modern Britain. 

“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.”

Idris Elba in Luther
Credit: BBC

Despite the criticism, the BBC says it’s ‘tremendously proud’ of the crime-drama.

However, the broadcaster has confirmed £100m is going to be spent on making future TV shows ‘diverse and inclusive’. 

Wayland, the Diversity Chief, says Michaela Cole’s I May Destroy You is an example of a recent BBC series that is ‘baked in’ diversity.  

Was Luther cancelled?

Luther hasn’t been cancelled. If anything, fans are keen to see even more of Detective Luther!

But it’s been suggested that a sixth season has never been produced as Idris Elba and BBC bosses fear of ‘churning it out like sausages,’ or so the actor told Australia’s Insider magazine. 

Idris Elba in Luther
Credit: BBC

How many series of Luther are there?

There are five seasons of Luther and they are all available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

Is there going to be a Luther movie?

Elba confirmed a movie is in the works earlier this year and that it’s been a ‘long time coming’.

He said: “Definitely making more music, people that love my film and stuff, listen, I’m going to be making Luther ‘The Movie’.

“Yeah 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, for people that have loved the show.

“We’ve been making the show for 10 years. So we’re making a film.”

Featured Image Credit: BBC

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