Does ‘Bridgerton’ Have a Race Problem?

Some critics say the Netflix drama doesn’t go far enough in its exploration of race in Regency-era London

In the weeks since the Christmas Day release of “Bridgerton” on Netflix, critics have at turns praised the series for featuring Black characters in the predominantly white historical romance genre, and taken the show to task for how it handles those characters and the reality of racial dynamics in 19th-century London.

An adaptation of the beloved series of romance novels by author Julia Quinn, “Bridgerton” tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she seeks a husband under the restrictive societal norms of the Regency era. She eventually finds love in Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), London’s most eligible bachelor and, in the Netflix adaptation, a Black man.

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Reid Nakamura

Reid Nakamura

TV reporter • reid.nakamura@thewrap.com • Twitter: @reidnakamura