Reading this article about Midsomer Murders, I’m reminded of Neil Gaiman’s admonition to a letter writer that Â George R.R. Martin is “not your bitch”.
Bobbie and I have joked now and then about the whiteness of Midsomer, and it is a very artificial world that is portayed; somewhat of a bubble of 50’s country England, albeit with modernÂ accouterments. Whatever you might think of the implicit values espoused inÂ Â portraying an all-white countryside, it’s just (just?) a work of fiction written with the primary creative focus of True-May. He’s not your bitch, either. If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it – or make one that includes a more ethnically varied cast and subject matter. There’s tons of great television police procedurals with a more PC bent, for those who feel that’s more important than plot or character (not saying that Midsomer is wonderful in either department).
Of course, the BBC is under no compulsion to fund drama that it doesn’t like, or that actively espouses antisocial values etc.; I just feel that what’s been reported of his comments doesn’t lead to the conclusion that he or the show is racist. For me the show always seemed to be in that old-fashioned and almost quaint style of Agatha Christies work, and no-one’s saying that should come off the air (although the difference is that Marple et. al. is explicitly historical in setting).
Brian True-May wasasked an obvious question about his show, and gave the obvious answer, in my opinion. The show is set in the last bastion of the old white England. I know that language calls up a fortress mentality, which is unfortunate, since the show (as much as I’ve seen) contains no trace of a ‘whites against the world’ attitude. In fact, it could be said to be a good thing that the show takes no position on race. In it, people are just people and they just happen to be all white.
There’s enough to worry about in the world, and it seems odd that the BBC bows to political correctness in this case. Now if True-May had only set the show in the 50’s, like Heartbeat 🙂