British cop-drama producer suspended over minorities remarks
The producer of a popular police detective series shown in 204 countries was suspended Tuesday after claiming the show's success was down to its all-white cast.
Brian True-May, co-creator of Midsomer Murders, said the series was the "last bastion of Englishness" which "wouldn't work" if ethnic minorities were added to the cast.
"We are shocked and appalled at these personal comments by Brian True-May," a spokesman for ITV, the show's commissioning broadcaster, said.
"We are in urgent discussions with All3Media, the producer of Midsomer Murders, who have informed us that they have launched an immediate investigation into the matter and have suspended Mr True-May pending the outcome."
The quaint police drama, which features John Nettles in the role of detective chief inspector Tom Barnaby, is set in the fictional English county of Midsomer.
True-May made his remarks in this week's edition of British magazine the Radio Times.
"We just don't have ethnic minorities involved because it wouldn't be the English village with them," True-May said.
"It just wouldn't work. Suddenly we might be in Slough (a region near London)... We're the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way."
© 2011 AFP