The actress will play the renowned historical character – who has been played by Natalie Portman and Natalie Dormer – for HBO Max. However, this news hasn’t been to everyone’s liking. While some accused the series of “lack of veracity” in casting a black woman as Anne Boleyn, her fans defend Turner-Smith’s talent.
Cinematic venture exist to defy and challenge societal norms, or at least that’s what they’ve been trying to do for some time in the entertainment industry. However, despite the efforts made by certain productions for diversity and inclusion, they have faced constant criticism.
This time, it’s HBO Max’s miniseries “Anne Boleyn” that’s receiving heavy criticism from social media after announcing that the main character will be portrayed by a Black woman, as many claim that history shouldn’t be altered.
Anne Boleyn is one of the most well-known figures in English history, as well as one of the most studied and reviewed by scholars. She was the queen consort of monarch Henry VIII and was accused of adultery and incest, eventually being executed for this. As a result of her importance in history -going on to become an English martyr-, numerous literary and cinematographic works have been dedicated to her.
Among those recognized films, we have “The Boleyn Sisters” from 2008 with Natalie Portman as Anne, and Natalie Dormer playing her in the series “The Tudors”. However, of course, until now, there had been a pattern: the productions always chose white women to portray her.
Jodie Turner-Smith has been selected to be the next Anne Boleyn, and the decision to choose a Black actress as the protagonist is what’s sparked negative comments against the production.
According to social media, detractors attack HBO Max’s lack of commitment to historical rigor, since, as they explain, in those years it was impossible to see anyone of color even in court.
However, defenders have also raised their voices, who see Turner-Smith as a symbol of diversity, as well as an opportunity for viewers of color to see themselves represented in historical figures.
In the face of criticism, the 35-year-old actress hasn’t remained silent and was always acutely aware of what her appearance might generate in the public: “As a Black woman, I can understand being marginalized. I have a lived experience of what limitation and marginalization feels like. I thought it was interesting to bring the freshness of a Black body telling that story.”
Despite the fact that the series will be available as of November 9, HBO Max still doesn’t have this premiere available on its schedule. As they explained, they want to deliver the product in perfect condition. We will have to stick around for its premiere.