The show brings diversity on and off the camera, showcasing brilliant talent and moving scenes which prove to be teaching moments.
Coastal crime drama, The Bay, continued last night on ITV, and one poignant scene stuck out for viewers across the nation, moving some to tears. The show’s depiction of a Muslim funeral, a ceremony not often seen on our screens, has been lauded for its inclusive storylines and diversity.
The fourth episode of the series (which aired last night) showed a funeral for a promising young boxer and, while the grief and colossal loss were palpable in the episode, viewers were quick to commend the way that such themes were dealt with.
The show has had a fundamental shake-up of its cast recently – lead actor Morven Christie (who played Lisa Armstrong) was replaced by Marsha Thomason’s DS Jenn Townsend – and has been praised for its character diversity.
As well as having on-screen deaf and Muslim representation at the forefront, the scenes of the recent episode’s Muslim funeral struck a chord with many, including the co-writer of the episode, Furquan Akhtar, who was proud to showcase this new style of writing.
He said in a tweet that he was “forever grateful to share this”.
The episode showed the cleansing of the body – which is standard in Islam – and the cemetery burial. As well as clothing and rituals being translated so movingly, the overall representation is stunning and, most importantly, significant for modern television.
Similarly, actor Barry Sloane (who plays Chris Fischer) noted the unique representation of religions and culture in the show, which first aired back in 2019.
More fan reactions on Twitter show the impact of the scene and the fantastic impression it had on viewers.
Diversity on-screens can also showcase different rituals of religions – one particular reason the show has been praised so far is that it is bringing light to these different ways of life. One Muslim viewer called the scenes “perfect”.
As the series doesn’t shy away from depictions of ‘broken’ characters, viewers have applauded The Bay for such powerful and emotive acting.
The importance of diversity on TV has been apparent through the years and as well as being a captivating watch, The Bay has given the opportunity to showcase a diverse cast and, just as importantly, a diverse team behind the camera too.
Diversity in the entertainment industry relies on both on-screen and off-screen talent, and this episode shows us why. Future TV shows should take note of this series and try to translate it into their work – it’s clearly something that audiences have been waiting too long for.
Catch up with The Bay on ITV Hub now.