Noughts and Crosses author was urged to make black characters Asian to ‘reach a bigger audience’ – The Sun

MALORIE Blackman has revealed that she was initially asked to make an Asian adaptation of her novel Noughts and Crosses for TV.

The author says production bosses told her she would need to make her black characters Asian in order to "reach a bigger audience."

Speaking at the BBC dystopian drama's premiere, Blackman said: “One production lunch I went to, they said they were very keen to do it, but would I mind if I made the Crosses Asian rather than black.”

She continued: "They said, ‘We just feel we’d reach a bigger audience that way.’"

Suffice to say Blackman did not have to think twice with her response.

“I thought, ‘Kind of miss the point, much?’ … Hard pass, crazy hard pass,” she quipped.

Noughts and Crosses has four sequel novels and even a stage adaptation, however, it has only just been adapted for television.

The drama – set to premiere on BBC One tonight – is based on Blackman’s 2001 book of the same name.

The action is set in an alternate universe where affluent black people, known as Crosses, rule over an underclass of white people, known as Noughts.

The show stars Jack Rowan (Callum), Masali Baduza (Sephy), Paterson Joseph (Kamal Hadley) and will even have rapper Stormzy guest starring as an editor of a newspaper, Kolawale.

The role was specifically made for Stormzy and according to co-star Jack, who previously appeared in Peaky Blinders: ‘‘His acting skills are as top notch as his rapping.’’

Josh Dylan, who plays Callum’s brother Jude, added: "He just looks amazing on screen and he’s so cool. He’s a gentleman."

Noughts and Crosses begins on Thursday March 5 at 9pm on BBC One.

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