British Producer Suspended From Hit Show After Praising Lack of Ethnic Minorities
"Midsomer Murders" co-creator Brian True-May says the show "wouldn't work" if it included more diversity among the cast.
The co-creator of the British hit show Midsomer Murders has been suspended after saying the detective drama "wouldn't work" if it included ethnic minorities.
Brian True-May, who has been working on the ITV series Midsomer Murders since it first aired in 1997, said in an interview with the Radio Times magazine that the show, whose cast is all white, appeals to globals audiences because "they love the perceived English genteel eccentricity." (The series airs in 231 territories.)
"We just don't have ethnic minorities involved, because it wouldn't be the English village with them; it just wouldn't work," he said in the interview, as picked up by Reuters, adding that "we're the last bastion of Englishness, and I want to keep it that way."
After the remarks became public, True-May was suspended by All3Media, the media company that own's True-May's Bentley Prods., the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.
"We are shocked and appalled at these personal comments by Brian True-May, which are absolutely not shared by anyone at ITV," a network spokesman told the Telegraph. "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."
During the interview with the Radio Times, True-May admitted his comments might not be politically correct. He added that he believes "Englishness" should include other races but said he's reluctant to change a formula that has been successful thus far.
True-May added that ethnic diversity "would just look out of place" on the show, which is based on books by Caroline Graham.
Midsomer Murders kicks off its 14th season this week.