British creative Nicôle Lecky has said the streamers didn’t understand the nuances behind her BAFTA-winning BBC drama Mood when she was pitching the show.
Lecky, who is working on another untitled BBC series, said “there was a push to nail [Mood] as one thing” when she was speaking with the SVoDs, whereas she praised the nation’s public broadcaster for understanding the specificities behind Mood.
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The BAFTA-winning musical drama aired nearly two years ago and was based on Lecky’s one-woman play Superhoe. It garnered strong reviews from critics for its originality and understanding of social media culture, beating This is Going to Hurt to the coveted Best Mini-Series BAFTA last year.
“The streamers wanted to say, ‘This is about one thing and we can market it to a very specific audience’,” Lecky told today’s Outside the Box event in London. “In doing that, the nuance and specificity was taken out if it being about a mixed race girl in London. The streamers didn’t really understand that in a way that free TV did.”
Getting lost in the middle
Lecky heaped praise on public broadcasters but spotlighted the difficulties of being talent from an under-represented background hitting a “middling point” in her career, which the industry “isn’t so good with.”
“[The industry is] great with emerging talent and you can be very successful [at the top] but in the middle you get a bit lost along the way,” said Lecky. “Once you get a bit of success you have to be a ‘diversity beacon’ or be involved with particular stories. You can get pigeonholed and there is a lot of pressure.”
Lecky said production companies will “send you the same book from the same Black person,” assuming that as diverse talent you would want to be involved with the project. She said she “relates” to Jeffrey Wright movie American Fiction, which follows a frustrated novelist who writes a satire of stereotypical ‘Black’ books, only for it to be mistaken by the liberal elite for serious literature.
“You have to know what stories you are interested in and what your vision is,” said Lecky.
She was speaking at Outside the Box, which is also featuring the likes of ITN boss Rachel Corp and former BBC broadcaster Andrew Marr.
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