The police drama returned with its sixth sequence on Sunday (21 March) night time, with the crew investigating the demise of journalist Gail Vella (Andi Osho).
The person accused of killing Gail is Terry Boyle, who’s performed by Tommy Jessop, an actor with Down’s Syndrome. Terry first appeared in Line of Obligation in sequence one (when he was performed by Elliott Rosen), when the useless physique of property developer Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee) was saved in his freezer by an organised crime group. In sequence 5, the character was performed by Jessop, whereas Laverty’s physique was nonetheless saved in Terry’s flat.
Proof emerged within the sequence six opener that Terry won’t be as liable for Laverty’s homicide as he appears, with the DNA of a legal named Carl Banks additionally being discovered on the crime scene.
“[He’s] more likely to be the gunman than the native oddball, that’s for positive,” Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) stated.
The road got here below criticism from viewers, lots of whom stated they have been “disenchanted” by the remark.
“It’s nice that Line of Obligation is again,” wrote one individual. “Nonetheless, calling a personality with Down’s Syndrome ‘the native oddball’ on World Down Syndrome Day doesn’t sit effectively with me. Nice the actor was given the chance however language is vital to acceptance and understanding.”
“‘Native oddball’ getting used to explain a person with Downs Syndrome on #LineofDuty – oh, and on #WorldDownSyndromeDay – actually?! Don’t understand how that acquired handed by means of the script,” one other Twitter consumer wrote.
One other social media consumer stated: “Stable return for #LineofDuty however stunned to listen to the phrase ‘native oddball’ used when referring to a personality with Down’s Syndrome – and on #WorldDownSyndromeDay. A misfire by the BBC on this event.”
“Particularly on the day that it’s but additionally on any day, the script author of #LineOfDuty must replicate on the road referring to a suspect with particular wants being known as the native odd ball,” one Twitter consumer wrote.
Nonetheless, some viewers praised the present for that includes Jessop so prominently on World Down Syndrome Day, with one tweet studying: “Can I simply say it’s nice to see Tommy Jessop as Terry Boyle in #LineOfDuty particularly as in the present day is World Down Syndrome Day.”
“At present is #WorldDownSyndromeDay and the highest TV present within the UK and Eire have an excellent actor with Down Syndrome on,” one other tweet learn.
In response to criticism, Line of Obligation creator Jed Mercurio tweeted that the road was a direct reference to Barry George, a person who spent eight years in jail for the homicide of TV presenter Jill Dando however was later acquitted of the crime.
“‘Oddball’ has no connotation for studying difficulties,” Mercurio wrote. “It describes a loner, an eccentric. It’s an equally becoming description for somebody like Christopher Jefferies. The drama is utilizing the time period to confer with the Dando case, to not studying difficulties.”
The Unbiased has contacted the BBC for remark.