The upcoming ITV drama The Singapore Grip, a interval sequence based mostly on the 1978 novel by J.G. Farrell, is drawing flak earlier than its premiere within the UK.
The drama sequence is screenwriter Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of the British novelist’s 1978 satire. It premieres within the UK on ITV on September 13, and has already been broadcast in Australia on Foxtel.
Set throughout World Battle II, The Singapore Grip centres on a British household residing in Singapore in the course of the Japanese Occupation. It stars Luke Treadaway, David Morrissey, Charles Dance, Elizabeth Tan and Jane Horrocks. Watch the sequence’ first trailer under.
An epic new drama following the lives of a British household in the course of the Japanese invasion of Singapore.
— ITV (@ITV) September 2, 2020
The trailer, launched on September 3, drew intense responses on social media.
Reactions ranged from disapproval – a tweet by Marvel actor Simu Liu merely expressing “No… simply…no.” – to pleasure, with screenwriter Alex von Tunzelmann praising the novel’s “refined, cruel and stinging” satire and hoping the tv adaptation “does it justice”.
No… simply…no. https://t.co/NRC4ysnEtR
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) September 5, 2020
Agreed. The e-book The Singapore Grip by JG Farrell is a terrific learn: a classy, cruel and stinging satire on the British Empire and the Brits who ran it. I hope the TV adaptation does it justice! https://t.co/p9KHJ16C8x
— Alex von Tunzelmann (@alexvtunzelmann) September 4, 2020
British East and Southeast Asian non-profit media advocacy group BEATS issued a press release decrying the present’s “dangerous (non)illustration”, calling ITV’s determination to “casually have interaction” with it “deeply upsetting”, as Variety reported.
“In a panorama the place our artistic industries are decimated, the Black Lives Matter motion has positioned this nation’s problematic view of its personal colonial legacy firmly below the microscope,” BEATS mentioned. “Greater than 5000 UK creatives signed an open letter calling for UK TV business gatekeepers to return to the desk on variety and inclusion points.”
“On this context, an expensively mounted TV adaptation of J.G. Farrell’s satirical novel, with colonial Singapore as its unique backdrop, is a kick within the enamel to the U.Okay.’s East and Southeast Asian neighborhood. That is particularly regarding at a time when anti-East and Southeast Asian hate crime has dramatically elevated in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.”
In its assertion, BEATS acknowledged that “Farrell’s novel has its place in historical past”, however deemed its satire “fatally undermined by its 1970s race and gender mores”. The organisation additionally argued the present favours “jauntily pressured, comedic indulgence, presenting this traumatic interval of Singapore’s historical past as little greater than breezy and inconsequential”.
BEATS additionally lamented the dearth of distinguished or well-developed Asian characters, save for Elizabeth Tan’s Vera Chiang. Her presence, they are saying, is undermined by framing rife with stereotypical cliches.
“Within the first episode, her each look is introduced by keening erhu music whereas, regardless of her supposed refugee standing, she fashions impeccable cheongsams and enigmatic smiles,” they clarify. Learn the organisation’s full assertion here.
The Singapore Grip actor David Morrissey, who performs rubber service provider Walter Blackett, just lately gave an interview to Digital Spy in regards to the movie wherein he mentioned Britain must “be sincere” about “ourselves and our historical past”.
“These folks, for me, are the embodiment of entitlement. They’re racist, they’re a bit monstrous, they’re sexist,” he mentioned.
“I feel as a nation we have to have a look at ourselves and our historical past and personal all of it and be sincere about it, and meaning extra than simply bringing down statues,” he continued.
“It means taking a look at our world in a really no-holds-barred, warts and all method, and truly going sure, we did that, and what are we going to do about it?”