Showtime is set to air it’s highly anticipated series “Guerilla” this weekend, which tells the tale of the black revolutionary movement in Britain. But its director, John Ridley, may have eliminated some of the series primary viewing audience after he decided to erase pivotal black female members of Britain’s black revolutionary movement.
During a screening of the series in London, audience members questioned with Frieda Pinto, an Indian actress, was the protagonist in the series.
Shadow and Act, documented the questions that were asked of Ridley during the screening:
“My parents were a part of that movement,” one audience member said. “I want to understand why you decided [to make] an Asian woman the main protagonist.
“I understand the contribution of Asians to this, but having an Asian protagonist making all the big decisions. Does that get explained in subsequent episodes? We can’t ignore that,” she continued.
“If there are things that are difficult to understand, accept, rationalize, despite the fact that if you understand the struggles of that time period … those elements are not made up, those are real,” Ridley said.
After another audience asked him for a better answer, he gave it to them:
“I said previously, I think the characters in this story are complicated across the board, so the concept that any one person is somehow better, or more elevated, or more appropriate than any other individual, I’m sorry, I don’t accept that,” Ridley said while on the verge of crying.
“I don’t want to make this overly personal, but part of why I chose to have a mixed-race couple at the center of this is that I’m in a mixed-race relationship,” he continued. “The things that are being said here, and how we are often received, is very equivalent to what’s going on right now. My wife is a fighter, my wife is an activist, and yet, because our races are different, there are a lot of things we have to still put up with.”
“This is one of the proudest moments of my entire life. This cast, this crew, the people involved in this show are the most reflective cast and crew that you will find anywhere. I’m sorry I cannot entertain a dialogue about whether the lead character in this show should be black or Asian—the lead character in this show should be a strong woman of color.”
The only redeeming factor for this series, and why people might tune is, is to see Idris Elba. Other than that, why should a show that erases black women be supported?