A Christmas Carol is set to be the latest example of a classic piece of art being rewritten for the “woke era” with Scrooge regenerated as an “Indian Tory who hates refugees”.
Film-maker Gurinder Chadha is reimagining one of Charles Dickens’s best-known characters in the festive tale, which will be “very diverse”.
Chadha, who is best known for Bend It Like Beckham, said the overall story would be “very close to Dickens’s original themes” given the “cost-of-living crisis in Britain”.
Appearing at a hearing of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, the director spoke about British film and “high-end TV”.
Film-maker Gurinder Chadha is reimagining one of Charles Dickens’s best-known characters in the festive tale, which will be ‘very diverse’
She told the committee members: “I’m making A Christmas Carol, but my Scrooge is an Indian Tory who hates refugees. But then we go on that journey with them, and hopefully they have reclamation.
“I did tell the Prime Minister about it and he said ‘Oh, don’t make me look bad’.
“And I said: ‘I don’t have to do that for you, Rishi’. The film is fun and it’s British, it’s Dickens, it’s very close to Dickens’ original themes, given our cost-of-living crisis in Britain.”
Chadha added that she had “struggled to get it off the ground” which she claimed was partly because the lead is Indian.
She said: “By making it an Indian Scrooge it changes everything in terms of how I get it financed. Suddenly people go ‘It’s not commercial, it’s small, it’s an Indian film’.”
The 64-year-old also said the first person she sent the script to was Stephen Fry.
She added that Fry had responded “super favourably” and said he had “cried buckets” when he read it because he was so moved.
She described the remake as Dickens “done in a totally different cultural way”.
English actor Albert Finney as Dickensian anti-hero Scrooge in the musical film ‘Scrooge’
The woke adaption follows in the footsteps of a West End production of The Wizard Of Oz which was condemned for turning modern capitalism into the villain of the piece.
Mail on Sunday’s theatre critic Robert Gore-Langton wrote at the time: “The look is evil American capitalism. The agenda is woke.”
Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at Kent University, added: “This is another example of the disturbing trend of politicising children’s entertainment.”