Johnson’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis has been criticised by many in the media and general public. The official number of deaths is expected to exceed 100,000 next week.
This Sceptred Isle, an original drama created for Sky, will be based on testimony from real people living through the pandemic, including hospital and care home workers, and will see Death on the Nile star Branagh tackle the role of the PM. The series is not due to air until Autumn 2022.
However, after news of the project broke, many voiced their objection to its premise on social media, calling it “inappropriate” to produce while the pandemic was still ongoing.
“Far too soon,” wrote one Twitter user. “People are still placing headstones from the first wave. Please don’t release this.”
“I really wish they would stop dramatising contemporary political events,” wrote another.
“People are having enough of a hard time distinguishing truth from fiction as it is. This stuff helps not one bit.”
“When thousands of people are still dying, and many are still grieving thousands that died last year it seems inappropriate and frankly f***ing sick of Sky to be making drama about Covid, with Kenneth Branagh playing @BorisJohnson,” wrote someone else.
Not sure if it’s true, but I saw somewhere that a drama series for tv is being made starring Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson, about the Covid pandemic. Am I alone in thinking this is inappropriate? Covid is still there, and getting worse; will BJ be shown as a hero? Too soon.
— Sheelagh Davis (@SheelaghMD) January 23, 2021
I feel like the only person who thinks Boris Johnson should be played by Branagh is Boris Johnson.
— J.A. Prentice / Living Authors Society (@LivingAuthors) January 23, 2021
I’m not watching a series about the pandemic during the pandemic. You wouldn’t go to a shark attack ward and screen Jaws. https://t.co/tb1XgQLtxg
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) January 23, 2021
“Who asked for this? We’ve lived it, we don’t need to give it anymore air time!” wrote another exasperated Twitter user. “Also... Kenneth Branagh?! If this is what entertainment is going to be I’ll make my own fun!”
“Just to say, Boris Johnson absolutely does not deserve to be played by Kenneth Branagh,” wrote Empire writer Helen O’Hara. “If they want to make a serious film about his government and its many failings, that role belongs to Mr Blobby.”