People Are Being Put Off HBO’s Chernobyl TV Series By Everyone's British Accent
Television network HBO was smart to release their critically acclaimed new series Chernobyl straight after Game of Thrones wrapped up.
The mini-series, which focuses on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, the fall out and the way the Soviet Union reacted, has been rated the number one show on IMDb after just a couple of episodes.
That's no small feat.
While there has been a ton of praise being hurled at the show for the suspense, the drama, the acting, the sets, the uniforms and the characters, there's one thing that's drawn a hefty amount of criticism: the accents.
The show is set in the Soviet Union (more specifically, modern day Ukraine), yet none of the main characters sport even the dullest version of that accent.
If you didn't know what was on your telly, you'd be mistaken if you thought it was a British drama like EastEnders or Coronation Street.
People on social media have been quick to criticise the production company for not making the actors try a Soviet or Ukrainian tongue.
"Don't know what they're going for but can anyone explain why every single Russian and Ukrainian character in Chernobyl has a British accent?" wrote one person.
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"Chernobyl is impressively horrifying/well-executed, but when are we going to stop with the historical dramas that replace any foreign language with British Accents. If you're going to make them conveniently speak English at least get the accent right," said another.
#chernobyl is an HBO show set in various locations in former ussr. british production, with a british cast, all playing soviet characters - and not one of them speaking with an east european accent. how dare they! historical inaccuracy!- annie ☠️ valentina (@annie_valentina) May 23, 2019
I can never watch that HBO series Chernobyl because everyone in Russia has a British accent on it???????- ♀️Beth♀️ (@DanUgglaInUggs) May 30, 2019
Chernobyl is an amazing series, but isn't it a bit weird that it's based in the Ukraine and everyone has an English accent? :joy:- ️[email protected] (@Pattriickkk) May 24, 2019
A third wrote: "Had to turn Chernobyl off. I hate that English accent instead of actual language with subs, especially for something that's art about history."
But the show's writer and producer has come out to explain why this decision was made.
Speaking on the show's official podcast, Craig Mazin said: "The decision not to use Russian accents was a big one that we made early on.
"We had an initial thought that we didn't want to do the 'Boris and Natasha' cliched accent because the Russian accent can turn comic very easily. At first, we thought that maybe we would have people do these sort of vaguely Eastern European accents - not really strong but noticeable.
"What we found very quickly is that actors will act accents. They will not act, they will act accents and we were losing everything about these people that we loved.
"Honestly, I think after maybe one or two auditions we said 'Ok, new rule. We're not doing that anymore."
Would you prefer the acting be incredible or for the accents to seem authentic? I mean, you could always employ someone who had the accent already. That's just a thought.
Featured Image Credit: HBO