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Why did the BBC cast a mixed-race Porthos in The Musketeers?

Certain viewers are non-plussed by the casting of a musketeer of colour, but surely blind casting is preferable to an historical whitewash

Studs in leather? Check. Swordplay? Check. Buckled swash? Check. Medieval cleavages? Check. Over-complicated facial hair? Check. Dead-eyed Peter Capaldi as Louis Xiii's enforcer Cardinal Richelieu, that 17th-century prototype of Capaldi's Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It? Check.

There's so much diverting stuff in BBC1's current adaptation of The Musketeers that you might have missed perhaps its most intriguing aspect. One Telegraph reader didn't during their below-the-line rant against what they called a "dumbed down romp". "And," they sighed, mid-tirade, "there is the one obligatory part-black character to prove that multiculti [sic] political correctness outweighs historical accuracy."

What's the problem? That in the new adaptation, Porthos, traditionally a fat white comedy turn (think: Oliver Platt in the 1993 comedy The Three Musketeers) is a trim, sexy musketeer of colour played by Howard Charles.

See full article on The Guardian - TV News