This week we heard that TV producer Brian True-May has been suspended after being accused of racist comments relating to the ITV series Midsummer Murders. It seems that Brian True-May does not include racial minorities in this program as he does not think it would work. His supposed racism seems to boil down to the following comments:
- “last bastion of Englishness”
- “We are a cosmopolitan society in this country, but if you watch Midsummer you wouldn’t think so”
- “Maybe I’m not politically correct.”
- “We just don’t have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them. It just wouldn’t work.”
- “I’m trying to make something that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed. And I don’t want to change it.”
Does this make him a racist?
One might also complain that the series includes no commuters, seems to over emphasise murder when this is a comparatively rare crime and that most of the programs take place in summer. I am no fan of Midsummer Murders, I find it boring and I don’t watch it. Though I can see the attraction of small English villages I am no special fan of them. I think that life in one might be rather dull. However, I recognise that some people, especially older people, find this program enjoyable.
Mutli-culturalism and tolerance are about acceptance of difference.
Yes, Midsummer Murders portrays a silly romanticised version of English village life. So what? It’s fiction! Do we really believe that East Enders is an honest portrayal of East London? Are we to ban Miss bloody Marple for being unrealistic? Do we really want a society where producers are forced to ensure that each program has a scientifically selected cross section of British society? Should the program also have quotas for the young, the old, the disabled? What about council flats and hoodies?
What sickens me with this sort of thing is the way the lame minded jump on the band wagon and repeat the accusation of racism like some McCarthyist witch hunt. Once someone is accused the pack falls on them and tears them to pieces. This evening a self riotous comedian named Lloyd Langford appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Now Show and joined in the abuse. It seems to be a trend with comedians that they resort to supposed-anti-racist hate speeches to get the audience on their side and of course the audience all laugh as nobody wants to appear racist. It seems to me that trampling a man’s reputation for laughs is a cheap and despicable tactic.
I have never heard of Brian True-May until this week and have no idea if he has racist tendencies or not. I do know that producing a fictional TV show based on a traditional and romanticised portrayal of an English village is not racist and that indulging in groundless accusations of racism is bigoted prejudice.
People used to say that nationalism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Now it seems that prejudice is the first fall back of comedians.