On October 31st, it became known that actress and model Jodie Turner-Smith would fill the role of Anne Boleyn in a mini-series on UK television.
The role of King Henry VIII’s wife would be played by a black woman.
Boleyn was Henry VIII’s second wife, the Queen of England between 1533 and 1536, and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. She was executed on May 19th, 1536.
Turner-Smith revealed in a statement:
“I am so excited to join these exciting filmmakers in bringing the story of one of history’s most controversial queens to the screen. Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve [Hedderwick Turner]’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.”
The actress continued:
“In the hands of Lynsey Miller, the legend of this formidable queen and fierce mother will be seen as a deeply human story that is still so relevant for today. I look forward to bringing my heart and spirit into this daring retelling of the fall of this iconic woman.”
The series, in which history will, once again, be entirely rewritten, is “a convention-defying Channel 5 drama made by the Sony-backed Stan & Ollie producer Fable Pictures.”
Convention-defying here means that actual people from history are being black-washed, similarly to what was being done in the past with white-washing.
Fable founders Faye Ward and Hannah Farrell are the producers.
Ward and Farrell said:
“We feel that history has side-lined the voice of this ambitious Queen in favor of the men who brought her down, and that Lynsey Miller’s beautiful, intimate vision will put Anne’s gaze at the heart of the piece.” Turner-Smith continued: “Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.”
Entirely disregarding that they, also sideline “this ambitious Queen” by entirely misrepresenting her as a person she was not.
The issue here isn’t that a black actress, or of any color, religion, political opinion is being given a role. The issue here is that history is being rewritten and a person is being misrepresented in order to gain viewership and win money simply by “being with the times”.
It is no secret, it is taught in schools how Great Britain treated and exploited its colonies and the citizens of said colonies, who were almost always people of color. It is even likely that in the 1530s Great Britain even had servants in Henry VIII’s household. And it is not a difficult guess where those servants came from.
Misrepresenting history that somehow Anne Boleyn, the king’s second wife was somehow black, simply rewrites history in a way to make Great Britain’s past seem less racist, than everybody knows it is.
This is perceived as a sort of repentance in the mainstream narrative – rewriting history and acting like it didn’t exist, instead of learning from its lessons.
The cliché statement that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat its mistakes stands, and it is cliché because it is fact. Erasing the actual historical heritage in order to make it seem less unacceptable does exactly that.
For Great Britain it would be much better to focus on historical accuracy, and then to actually present equal chance for political and economic rights to all of its citizens, instead of showing that, even in the past, colored people could become queen (entirely falsely).
For ordinary Britons now, as well as decades ago, in fact, there are no social lifts allowing them to get into the country’s top financial and political elite. And propaganda in the media is just a bone that the ruling elites want to throw to the masses.
And this is the reality of everybody, in most places across the world, regardless of color, ethnicity, religion.
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