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BBC continues its DEI-fication of British history with 'racially diverse' series about the Battle of Hastings
Engraving depicting a scene from the Battle of Hastings, fought on 14th October 1066 between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

BBC continues its DEI-fication of British history with 'racially diverse' series about the Battle of Hastings

One historian suggested there was perhaps no time in English history less multicultural than around the time of the Battle of Hastings.

Leftists appear conflicted about Western history. On the one hand, they have endeavored to sever ties with it, tearing down statues, renaming places and species, and digging up graves. Yet, they also appear keen to transmogrify Western history — to rewrite it and reimagine it in order to bolster their contemporary worldview, advance their agenda, or to accommodate the sensitivities of their peers.

This latter impulse to transmogrify history appears to dominate in the United Kingdom where there is a burgeoning genre of revisionist agitprop aimed at either distorting facts to paint Caucasians uniquely as history's villains or to erase Caucasians from the isles' history.

The British Broadcasting Corporation has contributed to this genre for years and has shown no signs of stopping.

The Telegraph recently revealed that a forthcoming BBC historical drama series about the Battle of Hastings — between Anglo-Saxons and Norman-French forces for control of England in 1066 — will be played by a "diverse cast."

"King and Conqueror," a CBS Studios coproduction picked up by the BBC, will apparently feature non-white actors as Anglo-Saxon characters.

"Adding diversity to a high medieval period setting follows the BBC’s 'colour-blind' casting of non-white stars as Tudor courtiers in another upcoming historical drama, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light," reported the Telegraph.

For instance, Elander Moore, an actor of Trinidadian decent, will play Morcar, son of Ælfgā, the earl of Mercia, and himself an earl of Northumbria, who fought against Viking and Norman invaders.

Jason Forbes, a black English actor from Bristol, will reportedly play a fictional Anglo-Saxon aristocrat named Thane Thomas.

'A cynic might wonder whether such casting is part of a cunning ploy to reinforce the fashionable progressive message that, throughout its history, this country has always been ethnically diverse.'

In the BBC's original announcement of the show, Lindsey Martin, senior vice president of international development and coproductions at CBS Studios — formerly of Netflix — indicated the show would be a "bold and fresh take on a story that has endured for nearly 1,000 years" with themes "as contemporary and relevant as ever."

Historian Zareer Masani told the Telegraph, "Some of us, including people of color, grew up thinking actors ought to look like characters they played."

Masani noted further that it was "absolutely crazy that they've applied this color-blindness to a period when Britain was at its least multicultural, before even the Norman Conquest," stressing further that this approach was "hugely confusing and downright misleading."

David Abulafia, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Cambridge, noted, "Since the whole series will undoubtedly bear little relation to historical fact, I think we shall have to put up with the bizarre notion that there were black earls in Anglo-Saxon England."

"All the more so, since we are no longer supposed to talk about 'Anglo-Saxons,'" continued Abulafia, alluding to the recent name change of University of Cambridge's historical journal Anglo-Saxon England to Early Medieval England and Its Neighbours.

"If they didn't exist, we can do what we like," added Abulafia.

British journalist Michael Deacon noted that, "A cynic might wonder whether such casting is part of a cunning ploy to reinforce the fashionable progressive message that, throughout its history, this country has always been ethnically diverse — which means that, if you object to mass immigration in the 21st century, you're not just racist, but historically ignorant."

Deacon suggested, however, that it is premature to judge the show having not yet seen it but joked about the potential of Harold Godwinson, the last crowned Anglo-Saxon English king, being scripted in the show to dismiss the threat of a Norman invasion as "alarmist nonsense," and stating, "I don't want to hear any more of these far-Right conspiracy theories. In any case, it's vital that we remain open to the world. As any historian worth his, her or their salt will tell you, Britain has always been vibrantly multicultural — ever since the Windrush arrived, in 1948BC.”

'It must not be an up-ended seesaw.'

The casting for "King and Conqueror" is par for the course at the BBC, whose program "Horrible Histories" released a song in 2021 called "Been Here from the Start," which suggested Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the Aurelian Moors, and the early Britons were black.

The second season of the BBC series "Wolf Hall," an adaptation of the Hilary Mantel novel of the same name about the court of Henry VIII, will reportedly have Edward VI's grandmother Lady Seymour played by an actress of Bahamian heritage. Thomas Wyatt, a Yorkshire man who was the first person to write sonnets in English, will be played by an Egyptian actor.

British author Petronella Wyatt, who claims Thomas Wyatt as a distant ancestor, suggested that "diverse casting, if it is to work at all, must have a logical grounding, particularly in an adaptation of a novel that prides itself on historical authenticity."

"It must also work both ways. It must not be an up-ended seesaw. If the logic of modern casting was followed across the board then white actors should also be given roles on the basis of colour-blindness," wrote Wyatt. "But in our cowardly new world there is no equity or freedom from moral indignation, no all-embracing tolerance, only snorts and objurgations. We have become incapable of imagining honourable intentions in those with whom we disagree."

The genre of revisionist agitprop is not limited to film.

In August 2023, the publisher British Bloomsbury released a children's book entitled, "Brilliant Black British History," which erroneously stated, "Britain was a black country for more than 7,000 years before white people came, and during that time the most famous British monument was built, Stonehenge." The book was promoted in the U.K. by a government-funded group.

Leftists have also not limited their revisionism to matters of race.

Last year, the North Hertfordshire Museum decided to retroactively make Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus "transgender" and assign him female pronouns.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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