‘Luther’: BBC diversity chief says Idris Elba’s character “lacks authenticity”

"He doesn't have any Black friends, he doesn't eat any Caribbean food"

BBC creative diversity chief Miranda Wayland has claimed Luther “doesn’t feel authentic” due to the lack of representation of Black culture.

According to Metro, Wayland addressed the diversity on the BBC show in a recent MIPTV conference.

“When it first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, Black character lead,” Wayland began.


“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.”

Luther, which began in 2010, sees the titular detective chief become romantically involved with murderer Alice Morgan, played by Ruth Wilson.

Series five cast Wunmi Mosaku (His House) in the role of DS Catherine Halliday, but few other central characters alongside Luther are played by Black actors.

Idris Elba as Luther

Discussing what can be done with the Times, Wayland added: “It’s about making sure that everything around them — their environment, their culture, the set — is absolutely reflective.”

A BBC spokesperson responded in a statement obtained by Metro: “Luther is a multi-award winning crime drama series and the iconic role of DCI John Luther has become one of TV’s most powerful detective characters of which we are tremendously proud.


“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.”

Meanwhile, Idris Elba recently confirmed that filming for the Luther spin-off film will begin this year. 

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