True Detective actor Mahershala Ali's subtle way to deal with racism

Mahershala Ali plays a police officer investigating the disappearance of two children in True Detective.
Mahershala Ali plays a police officer investigating the disappearance of two children in True Detective. PHOTO: HBO

Actor Mahershala Ali, who stars in the third season of True Detective, prefers racial prejudices to be seen as undercurrents in the show

The new season of crime anthology series True Detective is headlined by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, who plays a police officer investigating the disappearance of two children in 1980s Arkansas - a case that takes surprising turns.

But his character, police detective Wayne Hays, was originally written as white, and Ali was offered only a supporting role - that is, until the 44-year-old convinced series creator Nic Pizzolatto to change the script and make Wayne black.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2019, with the headline 'Subtle way to deal with racism'. Print Edition | Subscribe