Midsomer Murders, Where are the black faces?

Midsomer Murders - All White Every Night
Midsomer Murders - All White Every Night

Brian True-May, the Co-writer of the hit T.V series “Midsomer Murders” has recently defended the fact that the show has an all white cast. Describing the show as ” A Last bastion of Englishness” before stating that he felt it should stay that way.

Personally I think he’s talking tripe. Having grown up in an all white village. I was the only “mixed race” person for some time, but over the years there has been at least 3 other mixed race children, two, ladies from South East Asia, and 3 Black people living in the Village of Tideswell in Derbyshire. That’s not too bad for a village of 2000 people in the northern Peak District.

Whilst many people THINK there are no black or Asian faces in English villages, a closer look reveals that whilst minorities are certainly thin on the ground, we are there.

The BBC reported on March 15th:

Production company All3Media told the BBC Mr True-May had been suspended pending an internal investigation.

ITV said it was “shocked and appalled” by the producer’s comments.

“We are in urgent discussions with All3Media…who have informed us that they have launched an immediate investigation into the matter,” a spokesman added.

Personally, I think that what Mr True-May said was simply an expression of his opinion. He wants the show to stay that way because it appeals to people who think like he does, people who think that English villages are all White. I think that the show is his creation, and it’s up to him if he hasn’t written any ethnic minority characters.

It certainly is a shame that he chooses not to include a character of another ethnicity because of his perception that English villages are  “All white”,  but remember that really is only a perception.  People from all different ethnic back grounds can be found all over the country today, I’m sure the upcoming census data will bear that out.  Mr True May limits his access to a broader audience, through his blinkered and outdated appraisal of the U.K’s demography and furthermore, denies them an introduction to new and varied characters.

Ash Atalla, producer of sitcoms The Office and the IT crowd, seems to agree with me. He said it was a “generational thing”, where people of a certain age liked to believe that “Englishness” was all-white.

“Midsomer Murders is not for someone like me. I’m too young and I find the show rather dull,” he said.

If I were an actor auditioning for a role on Midsomer I’d be somewhat annoyed to be told, that they don’t have black/brown people in villages, so “thanks but no thanks”. Personally, I have never bothered watching the show and wouldn’t have known the ethnic makeup of the show without the co-writer himself pointing it out.

Do you watch the show?  Should it feature people of different ethnicities? Does it matter to you?


3 thoughts on “Midsomer Murders, Where are the black faces?

  • 29th March 2011 at 7:30 pm

    While it’s true that there are generally very small numbers of non-white citizens in rural areas. I find it interesting that the same white citizens who think “there are no black people here” neglect to notice that the Chinese and Indian restaurants they regularly visit, or even just pass on the road, are run by citizens living in the same county as them. I use the word citizen to deliberately emphasize an issue. It’s as though they think we live in another country. Also counter intuitive to them is the fact that rural black people experience higher rates of racism than their urban compatriots.

  • 15th April 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I find it very odd that no one apparently ever complained about an all-black cast on a TV show. What is the matter with you black people? What a really childish behaviour this is!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.