There was some controversy caused by a scene in which Adrian Dunbar’s Ted Hastings describes Boyle as a “local oddball”. Series creator Jed Mercurio and the BBC have defended the moment, with the broadcaster clarifying that the comment was “not in reference to the character Terry Boyle’s disability”. “The word ‘oddball’ means an eccentric person and has no meaning or connotation of disability,” said the BBC. Mercurio also explained on Twitter that the phrase was a “direct quote” from Barry George, who was originally convicted of killing TV presenter Jill Dando in 1999, before his conviction was overturned in 2007. George used it to describe how the police characterised him (“I was the easiest target on the case. They (police) could just say, ‘We’ve got the local oddball.’”)
Who's causing this 'controversy' then?
Jim Gamble, the former deputy director-general of the National Crime Squad, and now CEO of an independent safeguarding organisation, aimed at protecting the young and vulnerable...
...took issue with the line on Twitter, writing directly to Mercurio: “The script writer of Line of Duty needs to reflect on the line referring to a suspect with special needs as the local oddball… You are wrong on this and would be best just to admit that. This was the Supt in charge of Prof standards, not a suspect referring to themselves. If you want your lead to be seen as crass and offensive this is the way to go.”
Typically arrogant. Well, I suppose he's got the charity behind hi..
The Down’s Syndrome Association backed the show (“The most important part of Line of Duty was that one of the main characters in the drama has Down’s syndrome,” it said in a statement)...
Heh! Are they deterred? Reader, they are not...
Whether the remark was deliberately “hurtful” or not, it ties into Line of Duty’s bigger problem – a lack of sensitivity. Boyle is a character who has apparently been physically and verbally abused, manipulated for years and now dumped into the middle of a murder investigation. His character is, for all that we’ve seen of him, a perennial victim – we are never really shown who he is outside the context of this abuse. Like the majority of Line of Duty’s side characters, he exists almost purely to further the propulsive twists and turns of the central plot.
It's a drama show. I think that the purpose of all the characters is that, isn't it?