Russian Embassy Criticizes BBC Drama 'McMafia'

McMafia starring James Norton

It says the series shows Russians in the U.K. as criminals.

The Russian embassy in the United Kingdom slammed BBC’s TV series McMafia over the negative portrayal of Russians.

"McMafia depicts Britain as a playground for Russian gangsters," the embassy said on its Twitter account.

It also ran a poll offering users a chance to guess how many Russian offenders are currently in U.K. jails. The majority of users, 59 percent, chose the option "Fewer than 10," which the embassy said was the correct answer.

"Crime rate among Russians in U.K. is well below national average," the embassy said in a subsequent post. "Good that our followers are not buying into the cliches BBC is spreading."

Meanwhile, British newspaper The Telegraph reported, citing the Ministry of Justice's figures, that as of September 2017, 35 people of Russian nationality were imprisoned in England and Wales, which was fewer than numbers for Poland, Lithuania and Portugal, but larger than the number of prisoners from such countries as Greece, Denmark and Belgium.

BBC did not respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.

Relations between Russia and the United Kingdom are at the lowest point in decades, which has been reflected in the media and entertainment. In October, British parliament members initiated an investigation into a controversial ad campaign of the Kremlin-funded television network RT.

McMafia follows Alex Godman (played by James Norton), the son of Russian mafia exiles, raised in Great Britain. The series premiered on BBC One on Jan. 1.