Netflix drama Behind Her Eyes has been labelled racist after portraying Scots as ‘stingy’, ‘bad tempered’ and ‘miserable’.
Amongst those to point out the ‘outdated stereotypes’ in the show are SNP’s MP for Dundee East Stewart Hosie, SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife Douglas Chapman, and singer Eddi Reader.
Stewart Hosie said: “These daft, tasteless, inaccurate and very outdated stereotypes should be consigned to history.”
Fairground Attraction singer Eddi also accused the script of being ‘anti-Scot’, with ‘racist’ lines, reports The Mirror.
Eddi said: “Did anyone else catch the anti-Scot script? Apparently all Scots are either miserable or mean. Knitting pure officially ripped out.”
She added: “I’m pretty certain a script saying ‘aren’t all English/Black/Jewish/Asians/ mean and miserable’ wouldn’t get the funding. I don’t accept it and never ever will.”
She said: “I think it’s the duty of all Scots to raise this bigotry… to question every time it raises its talentless, passionless, damaged head.”
Eddi also thought the series which is currently being shown in the US and other countries – could be damaging to Scots.
She added: “Other populations and countries get to hear that Scots are ‘miserable’ and ‘mean’’.
Although she praised lead actress Simona’s performance, she added: “I just question the inclusion of the anti-Scot script… seemed totally unnecessary.”
The show has already come under fire online for its ‘brutal’ Scottish accents – with one of the leads being played by Oxford’s Tom Bateman putting on a Scottish accent.
In episode two of the book adaptaton, an English secretary called Sue (who ironically is played by Scots actress Georgie Glen) refers to Tom’s ‘miserable’ character. She adds: “They say that about the Scots, don’t they?”
Main character Louise, played by Simona Brown, responds: “Stingy, isn’t it?” Sue responds: “And miserable.”
After witnessing a moment of friction between Louise and Tom’s character David, Sue adds: “Told you – Scottish. Bad tempered, aren’t they?”
Louise responds with: “So it turns out, yeah.”
Steven Bonnar, SNP MP for Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill, was unimpressed. He said: “Like many people, my viewing choices during this prolonged lockdown have varied way beyond the normal parameters and I actually managed to catch this series.”
“I did notice the lazy outdated stereotypes at the time, and that is really all they are.
“In reality it is well known that we Scots are extremely generous people, particularly when you consider our charitable giving.”
We often raise a little smirk to ourselves as we appreciate just what a feat it is to be viewed simultaneously as a nation of both the angriest and friendliest people on the planet.”
Of course Scottish hospitality and our warm embrace is truly world renowned and I encourage anyone, once the pandemic is over of course and it is once again safe to do so, to come to Scotland as see for yourself”.
SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife Douglas Chapman agreed saying: “Scots are known for not taking themselves too seriously and usually come out of surveys as being kind, friendly and generous.
That said, I am sure people from all over the UK recoil a bit when they see a portrayal of themselves on TV that fits a stereo-type rather than what they see everyday as the reality.”
Following their online views Eddi spoke online with author Sarah Pinborough, who wrote the original novel which has been adapted by Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony.
Eddi revealed: “The author told me that she didn’t write those racist lines… and that the old dear secretary was supposed to be a ‘Busy-body’.
“Don’t get how you get ‘busy-body’ from racism.”
Half Scottish Sarah who was not to be part of the adaptation process ‘at all’ told Eddi: “I’m half Scottish so defo wasn’t meant that way. I can’t remember if it’s in the book or not – I think it’s meant to say more about the kind of busybody character who says the line than about the Scots!”
None of the 11 mentions of Scotland in the novel Behind Her Eyes appear to feature any derogatory remarks about native Scots.
Others online said they were ‘not a fan of the bad tempered Scot stereotype’ being pushed. Another said they wanted to “lop their iPad out the window, adding: ‘Yorkshire’s Robert Aramayo portrays another Scottish character – a junkie, which some viewers complained also perpetuates stereotypes.’
The series also stars U2 frontman Bono’s daughter Eve Hewson – an Irish actress paying an English character.
Netflix was approached for comment.