Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington in the Netflix hit show, has an amazing response to critics of the show's diversity.
Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan has the best response to critics of the show's diversity. Bridgerton is the fifth-biggest release of a Netflix original series. The show follows a group of young debutantes navigating the scandal-ridden seas of the marriage market in Regency-era England.
One of the best aspects of Bridgerton is the groundbreaking casting. The show features a bevy of leading ladies and men in Bridgerton that are played by Black actors, including Regé-Jean Page as the handsome Simon Basset, Kathryn Drysdale as Madame Delacroix, Ruby Barker as the young and pregnant debutante Marina Thompson, Adjoa Andoh as the sharp and witty Lady Danbury, and Golda Rosheuve as Queen Charlotte of England, a real-life monarch married to King George III. (Some historians even believe the real Queen Charlotte may have actually been Black.) Bridgerton effortlessly takes preconceived ideas of what 18th century England looked like and redefines the era with diversity and an excellent cast of characters.
Actress Nicola Couglan called out critics of the show's diversity on her Twitter page. According to Coughlan, some were even trying to downvote Bridgerton on IMDB solely because of the show's diverse cast. Check out Coughlan's excellent callout post in its entirety below.
Coughlan's response to the critics is pitch-perfect. Bridgerton's excellent cast enhances the feel of the show immensely and doesn't detract from the story in the slightest. It's unfortunate that some critics couldn't look past the idea of the show not being white-washed in the name of "historical accuracy." The reason why the world of Bridgerton is so diversified is even explained in-universe, thanks to Lady Danbury, who explains that it's all thanks to Queen Charlotte.
Lady Danbury reminds Simon that, "Look at our queen. Look at our king. Look at their marriage. Look at everything it is doing for us, allowing us to become. We were two separate societies divided by color, until a king fell in love with one of us." While the show didn't necessarily have to explain the inclusion of Black characters in the world of high upper-class English society, Bridgerton's casting should hopefully inspire other future historical period dramas, romances and similar genres to follow suit. Bridgerton's excellent casting might even influence future James Bond films, with many fans of the show calling for Regé-Jean Page to be cast as the next James Bond.
Having Black actors and actresses in a period drama shouldn't be a cause for criticism, but rather celebration. Bridgerton does this well with a compelling cast of characters that made the story complex, interesting and binge-worthy. Hopefully, there will be even more diversity with new characters when Bridgerton is inevitably renewed for the highly-anticipated second season. Only time will tell.