Noughts + Crosses became more important after BLM protests, says Masali Baduza

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Masali Baduza said the Noughts + Crosses TV series became more “important” following the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests.

The actress plays Sephy in the returning BBC series, adapted from Malorie Blackman’s bestselling novels, alongside Jack Rowan who appears as Callum.

The books are set in a society divided by racism, in which Sephy is a Cross, a member of the dark-skinned ruling class, and Callum is a Nought, a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses.

Masali Baduza
Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza (BBC/PA)

Months after the release of the first season of Noughts + Crosses in March 2020, George Floyd was killed in the US, sparking Black Lives Matter protests across the UK.

Talking about the protests, Baduza said: “I think personally, for me, they definitely did have an effect on my personal life in between filming both seasons.

“I think there was just a lot more sensitivity around the language used and I think that the importance of the show became even more because of what is going on, with regards to race relations.

“But it’s promising to see that people are willing and able to do self-introspection and to really evaluate their contribution towards the society that we live in that can be racist.”

The highly-anticipated second series will see Sephy and Callum attempting to flee Albion in search of a new life together, while the city reels in the wake of Sephy’s “kidnap”.

Noughts + Crosses
Noughts + Crosses (BBC/PA)

Following the release of the series two, Baduza said she hopes people will be inspired to keep “fighting for what you believe”.

“There’s been recent legislations and bills that have been passed around the world that feel like we’re almost regressing in terms of equality and inclusion.

“So if anything, I would hope that members of the audience would really be inspired to continue fighting, no matter how hard it is, no matter how many obstacles you face, just to fight for equality in all aspects,” she said.

She added that it was a “wonderful experience” shooting the series in her home country, South Africa.

She added: “It was also quite interesting filming this type of TV show in South Africa with the history that we have.

“I feel like a lot of the crew and staff are really proud to be a part of this production and really excited every day just to see themselves celebrated and that’s what I will never forget, just the importance of representation and seeing first hand how important that is for people.”

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