Laurence Fox has hit out at the ‘diversity agenda’ following the first episode of Channel 5’s Anne Boleyn, which sees Black actor Jodie Turner-Smith portray the Tudor Queen.
Jodie is the first Black person to play the role of King Henry VIII’s second wife who was famously beheaded having been charged with treason.
The new period drama is told from a feminist re-imagining across three episodes, with the first chapter showing Anne kiss her love rival Jane Seymour.
Before the series launched, Jodie noted her portrayal of a white monarch would be ‘a stretch for some people’ and Laurence has appeared to out himself as one of those people.
Taking issue with the casting, Laurence tweeted: ‘Anne Boleyn was a straight white female. Stick that in your diversity pipe. The diversity agenda is racism. Pure and simple.’
In another post, he wrote: ‘Only trans actors can play trans characters. Only gay actors should play gay characters.
Last month, Jodie explained how she overcame the racist backlash as she knew the ‘human story’ of Anne was one that was hers to tell.
‘I had just become a mother and that was what really jumped out at me, the story of Anne as a mother,’ Jodie – who welcomed her first child, Janie, with husband Joshua Jackson – told Glamour.
‘I did know it would be something that people felt very passionately about, either in a positive or a negative way, because Anne is a human in history who people feel very strongly about.
‘More than anything, I wanted to tell the human story at the centre of all of this.’
Anne Boleyn continues tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.
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