Line Of Duty’s Terry was described as ‘the local oddball’ (Picture: BBC)
Line Of Duty has been flooded with hundreds of complaints after disabled character Terry Boyle was described by Ted Hastings as the ‘local oddball’ in the first episode of series six.
The BBC has revealed that 323 people took issue with the line, which was said by Adrian Dunbar’s Superintendent Ted to Tommy Jessop’s character who has Down’s Syndrome on World Down Syndrome Day.
However, the corporation defended the comment saying that the phrase had ‘no meaning or connotation’ linking it to Down’s Syndrome.
In the scene, Ted spoke about Terry’s possible involvement in the murder of journalist Gail Vella.
‘[Carl is] much more likely to be the gunman than the local oddball, that’s for sure,’ he said, referring to Terry.
Down’s syndrome is when you’re born with an extra chromosome.
323 viewers complained about the line (Picture: BBC)
Viewers voiced their disappointment and anger at the description on social media, with one person writing: ‘Solid return for #LineofDuty but surprised to hear the phrase “local oddball” used when referring to a character with Down’s Syndrome – and on #WorldDownSyndromeDay.
‘A misfire by the BBC on this occasion.’
Echoing a similar sentiment, another added: ‘It’s great that Line of Duty is back. However, calling a character with Down’s Syndrome ‘the local oddball’ on World Down Syndrome Day doesn’t sit well with me. Great the actor was given the opportunity but language is key to acceptance and understanding.’
The BBC responded to the criticism in a statement.
‘Ted Hastings has never met Terry Boyle,’ a spokesperson said. ‘In the scene, he is reviewing the evidence against the character.
‘The word used in dialogue refers to an eccentric or loner, which fits the stalker/obsessed fan theory of Gail Vella’s murder. The dialogue has no meaning or connotation that relates to the character’s disability.’
The show’s creator Jed Mercurio also responded to the backlash of the term online, saying that Superintendent Hastings had never met Terry and ‘doesn’t work with vulnerable people’.
In addition, Tommy’s mother shared her view on the ‘oddball’ line about her son’s character, saying that she ‘didn’t think it was a big deal’.
Line Of Duty continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.