The new TV show that's an uncomfortable watch
With the Black Lives Matter rallies erupting around the world over the last few weeks, it's testing to imagine a world where white people were the oppressed race.
But a new series challenges its audience to do just that.
Noughts + Crosses dropped on Binge today, and while its star-crossed love story is a tantalising drawcard, a world set in a reverse reality where black people are in power is the leading - albeit uneasy - take away.
Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by author Malorie Blackman, the six-part series follows the black 'Crosses' and the white 'Noughts' in present day Britain - in this world referred to as Albion.
More than 700 years prior to where the series begins, a host of countries in West Africa joined forces to form the 'Aprican Empire' and went on to colonise Europe.
Having aired overseas earlier this year, the show caused controversy with some viewers accusing it of being "divisive" and not falling in line with the list of offensive shows being stripped from streaming services of late.
Why is this programme still being aired?— Jack of Dorset 🏴🇬🇧 (@JackofDorset) June 12, 2020
It’s divisive, racist & plays on the concept of slavery. Very offensive, more offensive than statues of Churchill, Nelson & Baden Powell. Inappropriate airing due to current events 🤷♂️. @BBC Noughts + Crosses https://t.co/R08AZIZQ3h
But one of the show's actresses Kike Brimah - who plays Minerva Hadley - said the series was created to make the audience feel "uncomfortable".
"I want this show to reach people like Claire from Devon - people who are naive to these experiences," Brimah told The Guardian.
"I want people to feel uncomfortable with what they are seeing. For you to see another person's point of view, you have to go through it."
Executive producer Preethi Mavahalli said the show's purpose was to expose all discrimination as wrong.
'This show does not aim to define any single experience. It borrows from history across the world, be it South African apartheid, British imperialism or the US civil rights movement," Mavahalli said.
"The universal message is that all types of prejudice are wrong. Malorie's ambition in writing the novels was to allow people to walk in the shoes of others."
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The central characters are Sephy (Masali Baduza), a member of the Crosses and the daughter of a powerful politician, and Callum (Jack Rowan), a Nought of the lower class.
The pair have been friends since they were children but over time their bond flourishes into something deeper.
Of course in the world they're living in, falling in love with someone on the other side of the fence proves anything but easy.
Noughts + Crosses is available to stream on Binge
Originally published as New show is an uncomfortable watch
Just finished watching the BBC drama Noughts & Crosses. Where Blacks rule & beat & torture white people to death. Hope this will be removed immediately from BBC I Player?— Philip Hall (@PhilipH21343285) June 12, 2020
A programme intended to provoke violent unrest. "Irresponsible"isn't a strong enough word to describe the BBC.— Elizabeth Jackson (@Elizabe28594095) June 12, 2020