Idris Elba's 'Luther' Isn't "Authentic" Because He "Doesn't Have Any Black Friends," Claims BBC Diversity Chief

Idris Elba's 'Luther' Isn't 'Authentic' Because He 'Doesn't Have Any Black Friends,' Claims BBC Diversity Chief
As John Luther, Idris Elba has made the BBC crime drama Luther a massive hit, but the network's own diversity chief Miranda Wayland has now caused an uproar among fans after suggesting his character doesn't feel authentically Black.

While recently explaining the BBC's diversity and inclusion strategy during the digital MIPTV conference, Wayland, who is Black, pointed to Elba's character not being "authentic" enough, saying he "doesn't have any Black friends" and "doesn't eat any Caribbean food."

"When [Luther] first came out everybody loved the fact that Idris Elba was in there — a really strong, Black character lead," she said.

"It's great having those big landmark shows with those key characters, but it's about making sure everything around them, their environment, their culture, the set is absolutely reflective. It will be very much about how can we make sure that this program is authentic in terms of the storytelling."

Wayland then added: "This doesn't feel authentic."

The series was created by Neil Cross, a white man, who explained to the Daily Mail, "It would have been an act of tremendous arrogance for me to try to write a Black character. We would have ended up with a slightly embarrassed, ignorant, middle-class, white writer's idea of a Black character."

Cross also explained that Elba only took the role because race didn't factor into the casting.

Wayland has suggested that part of the solution for her issue with Luther would be to hire more Black directors.

Meanwhile, fans of the show have criticized Wayland's position, saying that her comments demonstrate problematic stereotypes. You can find a few reactions of many below.