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To my mind there is nothing more cringe worthy than “political correctness” and there is no element of political correctness that is more eye rollinglly bad than the requirement for the in inclusion of “obligatory ethnic minorities” into works of fiction especially when the plot is twisted in a most gross way to accommodate them.
One of the most blatant and ridiculous examples was in that execrable “Robin Hood” program that made one of the white male characters female, black and Muslim.
Now I come across a piece complaining that a show set in the quintessential English rural setting where nearly every face is white in actuality complaining that there are no black faces included in the casting choices by the production. Is it any wonder that the English feel culturally besieged by this sort of nonsense?
Just look at the argument being put:
Leaving aside that no one seems to be able to define what “Englishness” actually is (presumably it doesn’t include Welshness, Scottishness, or Cornish pasties), True-May’s comments highlight his own creative shortcomings and are also wildly insulting to his audience. He is effectively telling black viewers (and actors) Midsomer is not for them, while simultaneously assuming the show’s viewers are as small minded as he is.
“I’m trying to make something that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed. And I don’t want to change it,” said True-May. His argument seems to be: “Ridiculously improbable murders: Fine. Believable non-white characters? They’d never stand for it, and neither would I.”
It’s a fact that people like to see themselves represented on screen, and in this respect middle aged white men are no different to the rest of us – after all, David Cameron famously claimed it was his favourite television programme – but is he really saying that black characters have no place on screen in anything other than gritty urban drama?
If the viewer can suspend their belief enough to believe that the sleepy village of Midsomer is a hotbed of adultery and murder, surely they’d be able to believe in well-rounded non-white characters? Has True-May really never seen a black person in wellies? And even if he hasn’t, does he really think his viewers would switch off in droves if he were to up the melanin a little? Please don’t insult our intelligence with cries of “it’s not authentic”. Neither are your plot lines but that doesn’t stop you. The idea that TV is so overrun with black characters that Midsomer Murders is representing a much neglected white viewer is ridiculous.
Hannah Pool appears to be one of those people who have a rather large chip on their shoulders about racism yet she will quite happily promote a World Festival of Black Arts Yet she complains when the producer of that quintessential English art of the drawing room murder has, Gasp! quintessential white English characters. Frankly it does not matter a jot that the plots in Midsomer Murders are silly or contrived because all whimsical fiction is essentially silly. My question is why can’t you accept that there is no malicious racism in presenting a story that has no obligatory ethnic minorities in it? Especially when just about every other TV production from the UK does have plenty of opportunities for non white actors to strut their stuff?
Finally how would Hannah pool feel about a white critic complaining about the World festival of Black Arts Being Racist because despite the fact that there are white people living in Africa there is no inclusion of them in the festival now is there?
Its all about the Goose, the Gander and treating them equally isn’t it???.