The first airing of 'Troy: Fall of a city' started last night on BBC1. This lavish 8 part epic was put together by the BBC and Netflix. Some of us will be familiar with the story of Troy from Homers 'Illiad'. How Paris a Trojan prince convinces a Greek Queen Helen to sail away with him back to Troy. Then what follows is a ten years war as the Greeks besiege the Trojan city and no one from either side can gain victory. To cut a long story short the Greeks pretend to sail away leaving behind a giant wooden horse. The Trojans mistakenly believe it is a gift from the Gods. But inside are elite Greek soldiers who under cover of the night sneak out of the horse and open up the gates of Troy - game over for the Trojans.

The central Greek warrior Achilles in the 2004 Hollywood production was played by Brad Pitt.

This time the part of Achilles is played by Black British actor David Gyasi. The reaction on social media to the part of Achilles being played by a black actor has been met with fury. Many have accused the BBC and Netflix of being historically inaccurate in allowing a black actor to play the role of the Greek hero. Achilles in the 'Illiad' is described as European and blonde.

Inaccurate representation

It seems today you will find a smattering of ethnic and particularly black actors on our screens. Nothing wrong with that as we live in a multicultural society whether we like it or not. However when it comes to period pieces like Troy is it right to cast an ethnic actor in the part of a white character like Achilles. Some would say there is nothing wrong with that as it is giving black actors a chance to shine.

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That's all well and good but are we putting equality over historical accuracy.

We see many black actors playing what were white parts whether those white characters were from history or not. Equality is a great thing only if it is for everyone. If someone like David Gyasi can play a character who is a white European than surely a white actor could play a mythic or real character from black history.

Unfortunately, though that doesn't seem to happen in the real world. Take the 'Black Panther' movie with an entirely black cast except perhaps for Andy Serkis playing the villain. Much has been made of the fact it is an entirely black cast and that this movie is a milestone. That may be so but if a movie or a programme was made with an entirely white European cast there would be an outcry.

Get it right!

While giving ethnic actors a break is the correct thing to do historical accuracy should not be sacrificed. It should not be sacrificed just because it is the politically correct thing to do to.

The Greeks as far as historians can tell were a white European civilization. It is important that historical representation of what people looked like back in the day when it comes to period dramas should be preserved. Ancient Greece may have had black people and perhaps even some oriental people but not in the proportions shown in 'Troy: Fall of a city'.

Unfortunately, it seems by and large historical accuracy when it comes to period movies and dramas has gone out of the window.