There is just one problem with the character, according to a BBC diversity chief: he’s not authentically black enough. Miranda Wayland cited the popular crime drama as an example of a series that is only superficially diverse, as the corporation seeks for more convincing and rounded portrayals of minority groups.
“When it first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, black character lead,” said Wayland, the corporation’s head of creative diversity.
“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.”
Because that’s an insistence that black characters – leave aside that half of British blacks are in fact African, not Afro-Caribbean, so why would they eat Caribbean food – are significantly different from the wider society around them.
Which isn’t, quite, what we’re all supposed to be thinking, is it?