It is part of a series of comedies for Sky Arts about “unlikely stories from arts and cultural history.” The show is now in post production and set to air later this year.
— AL (@MissSchliez) January 27, 2016
— Duncan Whitehead (@DuncanWhitehead) January 27, 2016
Social media was outraged about the casting, as a lack of diversity in the entertainment industry, particularly in Hollywood film and television production, has been noted after only white actors were nominated for this year’s Academy Awards.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) January 27, 2016
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) January 26, 2016
Sky Arts has defended the casting choice, issuing the statement, “Sky Arts gives producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set."
— shadeoncé (@tawnybananas) January 27, 2016
"I'm a white, middle-class guy from London," Fiennes told Entertainment Tonight, "I'm as shocked as you are."
"[Jackson] definitely had an issue — a pigmentation issue — and that's something I do believe," Fiennes continued. "He was probably closer to my colour than his original colour."