"Midsomer Murders" Producer: No Place in the Programme for Ethnic Minorities; It Was the "last bastion of Englishness"
The producer of one of ITV1's best-known crime dramas, Midsomer Murders, has been suspended from his job after he suggested in an interview that there was no place in the programme for ethnic minorities and it was the "last bastion of Englishness".
Brian True-May, the co-creator of the show which began on ITV in 1997, said the series "wouldn't work" if there was any racial diversity portrayed in the sleepy village life of the fictional county of Midsomer.
Production company All3Media has suspended True-May while it conducts an inquiry and an ITV spokesman said the broadcaster was "shocked and appalled" by his comments.
"We just don't have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn't be the English village with them," (Omar Khan, writing in the Telegraph, begs to differ)True-May said in an interview with the Radio Times. "It just wouldn't work. Suddenly we might be in Slough ... (OH THE HOOROR! NOT SLOUGH!!) We're the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way."
An ITV spokesman said: "We are shocked and appalled at these personal comments by Brian True-May which are absolutely not shared by anyone at ITV.
"We are in urgent discussions with All3Media, the producer of Midsomer Murders, who have informed us that they have launched an immediate investigation into the matter and have suspended Mr True-May pending the outcome."
True-May was speaking to the Radio Times in advance of the new series of the drama, which returns to ITV1 next week. Originally based on the books by Caroline Graham, Midsomer Murders has so far featured 251 deaths, 222 of which were murder.
The show's original star, John Nettles, previously best-known for his title role in another long-running crime drama, BBC1's Bergerac, appeared in the last of his 82 episodes last month. He will be replaced in the leading role by Neil Dudgeon playing John Barnaby, the cousin of Nettles' original inspector Tom Barnaby.
Perhaps anticipating criticism of his comments, True-May admitted: "Maybe I'm not politically correct ... I'm trying to make something that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed. And I don't want to change it."
The race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust said True-May's comments were out of date and no longer reflected English society.
"Clearly, as a fictional work, the producers of Midsomer Murders are entitled to their flights of fancy, but to claim that the English village is purely white is no longer true and not a fair reflection of our society, particularly to this show's large international audience," said the trust's director Rob Berkeley. "It is not a major surprise that ethnic minority people choose not to watch a show that excludes them."
True-May has also banned swearing, graphic violence and sex scenes from the show, but his idyllic formula does not stop challenging storylines or other elements of diversity which do not involve ethnicity.
"If it's incest, blackmail, lesbianism, homosexuality ... terrific, put it in, because people can believe that people can murder for any of those reasons," he said. lmao
Not all of the programme's cast appeared to agree with the programme's producer. Actor Jason Hughes, who plays sidekick DS Jones and starred as Warren in BBC2's This Life, said: "This isn't an urban drama and it isn't about multiculturalism. That's not to say that there isn't a place for multiculturalism in the show.
"But that's really not up to me to decide. I don't think that we would all suddenly go, 'a black gardener in Midsomer? You can't have that'. I think we'd all go, 'great, fantastic'."
- And yet again...why is this here? How is this gay? I''ve never heard of this show.\
The race bait troll is on a tear again, hoping to incite a 200 reply thread where people bitch about "the PC police" and spew racist hatred.\
We''re onto you, OP so kindly FUCK OFF.
- I do agree this seems to be a race baiting thread.
- This is why there will always be an England.
Old Newyorker blurb
- You kindly fuck off, racist diseased queen r1
- They owned half of China and Africa but they have no place for race...oh? Yeah right.
- F&F R4
- If they used ethnic minorities as a pretext for murder, that would show how non-racist they are.
- r1/r2 = same shitstain. \
Anyway, this is happening more and more. There was outrage over an Indian playing in the new "Upstairs Downstairs". Apparently, they weren''t around during that time period, and it was nothing more than PC run amok.
- I saw a Shirley Temple movie (from the 1930s) that had an Indian character -- he was the valet the British officer brought home from Bombay.
- R1, you''ve obviously never heard of DL until today either. This show was discussed often on DL and it has many fans.
- The same could be said of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.%0D\
There were no minorities portrayed in real life, aka without a costume. Nobody complained there.%0D\
To a certain extent, the producer is correct - not in the "last bastion of Englishness" nonsense - but in the "it doesn''t fit" part.%0D\
If the story doesn''t call for minorities to be portrayed, he shouldn''t be forced to do it. But he didn''t have to be such a jerk about it.
- [quote]If the story doesn''t call for minorities to be portrayed, he shouldn''t be forced to do it. But he didn''t have to be such a jerk about it.%0D\
I''m black and this is exactly the point I wanted to make as well. If you as a producer don''t have minorities in your cast, I will still watch the show and probably won''t think much about it or allow that fact to affect how I feel about the program (for instance, to this day I loved "thirtysomething" and consider it one of my all-time favorite series, even though there wasn''t one black face on it). If, however, as R11 points out, you as the producer come out with some idiotic, unsolicited statement about how you have no desire to put any minorities on your program, then that''s when I would say fuck you and never watch your program again.
- There were black characters on thirtysomething.
- [quote][R1]/[R2] = same shitstain. \
If only there were some sort of color-illuminating icon we could click to test that hypothesis!
- [italic]The same could be said of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.\
There were no minorities portrayed in real life, aka without a costume. Nobody complained there.[/italic]\
Are you kidding me?\
They were sued because they wouldn''t hire minorities.
- [italic]If, however, as [R11] points out, you as the producer come out with some idiotic, unsolicited statement about how you have no desire to put any minorities on your program[/italic]\
What''s the difference? Obviously, if a show doesn''t feature minorities in it, the producer(s) automatically have no desire to fit them in. Basically, you''re saying, do it, but don''t tell me about it out loud.
- Is the British countryside really so very white?
- So we can believe that over the past few years there have been more than 200 murders in a tiny English village, but if they stick a few faces of color into the mix it''s just too UNBELIEVABLE.
- englishness = briton, celtic, roman, norman, jute, saxon, danish, viking, angle, dutch, scottish, german, jewish, irish, french, caribbean, iberian, indian, african, and, like Prince Philip Greek....\
hardly a model for ethnic purity my friends?\
it''s always been heterogeneous, just like the history of the world.\
the history of the world doesn''t stop just because we are now post-modern, if anything, given our newfound globality, ethnic mixing should accelerate, not dig down into some primordial tribal bullshit that only existed to any extent at all well before the year one.
- Brava R19. Well written
- OH! Ching chong, Ling long, ting tong! OH!
UCLA POLYSCI MAJORETTE
- Really, R8?
- thanks, r20, appreciate that
- I don''t remember any outrage about Upstairs Downstairs when it was broadcast over Christmas but I can imagine the Daily Mail getting it''s knickers in a twist. Paul Dacre would have been creaming himself at the prospect of a headline involving race, political correctness and the BBC. %0D\
The issue over Midsomer Murders (which I admit I''ve never seen) is that the producers would seemingly veto the idea of any non-white actor playing any role, be it a coroner, a doctor, someone''s girlfriend, whoever.%0D\
The Daily Mail had an expectedly nasty column from Quentin Letts about it, where he asked if Chinese people will now turn up in Downton Abbey to tick a quota box. You''d expect it from him, frankly.%0D\
This producer will now be a cause celebre for the right wing here.
- There''s nothing wrong with insisting on realistic non-alternative ethnically specific casting in certain contexts, and nothing wrong with non-traditional casting in many, perhaps most, contexts either.\
What is fundamentally wrong is an idiotic xenophobic tirade about England for the English.
- Wow, R16, you figured that out all by yourself? My but you''re a clever one.
- Personally, I''m fine with seeing fugly, dumb-witted and slow in only one color.
- There should be around 5% ethnic minorities in those place...they should be mainly located in Custom (the town in the series sourranded by all those murdering villages)
- Ethnic minorities aren''t evenly spread through England though, and this sort of area is exactly where you wouldn''t see non-white faces. The odd locum Indian doctor, maybe, or an Asian chemist - that would be it, even at the county town level. There are plenty of programmes on British tv where ethnic minorities are probably over-represtented, or at least unbalanced (too many black, not enough Asian is the usual imbalance, especially in medical series). It''s not a problem in itself, though it can look a bit strange (there was a terrible thriller/archaeologist series that had more non-white team members than there are non-white archaeologists in the whole UK).
- England''s problem is -- no 711s.%0D\
Every town would have Indians and Pakistanis if you had 711s.%0D\
What about Lotto? If store sells Lotto, it''s pretty much owned by a Muslim or a Hindu in the NYC metro area.
- I''ve just started watching these shows on Netflix. It cracks me up -- all those HUGE country homes in one little county.
- R1, Midsomer Murders is one of the few British crime shows that has actually included some gay storylines.
- Fuck it, R31. I mean.. who cares? It''s a guilty pleasure. Yes, it is silly and over the top. But it''s so addictive. I love it! It''s very entertaining. At least something happens in Midsomer Murders, there''s actually some action, compared to most other british crimes that are just awfully boring.
- [quote]England''s problem is -- no 7-11s. Every town would have Indians and Pakistanis if you had 7-11s.%0D\
If doing a show about my town last year, it would have had some Pakistanis, only because they owned a 7-11. That store shut down so my town today would be depicted with no minorities. If I were doing a show about Freetown, Sierra Leone, it might not have any white people in it. When I was there, my friends and I were the only minorities as white people, but we were just passing through.%0D\
There are places all over the globe that have no minorities. %0D\
- He's right though!