Keleey Hawes’ upcoming ITV drama about a real-life “honour killing” has been criticised by the victim’s family.
Last month, it was announced that the Bodyguard actress would be starring in Honour, a new drama based on the murder of Banaz Mahmod.
The 20-year-old was killed in 2006 in a murder organised by her father and uncle, after leaving her abusive husband and falling in love with someone of her own choosing.
In Honour, Keeley will play detective chief inspector Caroline Goode, who was tasked with leading the investigation into Banaz’s initial disappearance, with the story told from the police’s perspective.
This has been criticised by some who felt it took the spotlight away from the victim, and perpetuated a “white saviour” narrative.
Banaz’s sister Payzee Mahmod has now told the BBC she agrees with this, saying: “It doesn’t really sit too well with me that that’s the angle they chose to go with because that’s not Banaz’s story, that’s somebody else’s story.
“This is about somebody who lost her life very tragically and it’s not about somebody getting to tell their story. I don’t believe that it’s honouring Banaz.”
In response, an ITV spokesperson told the BBC that writer Gwyneth Hughes had been in contact with Payzee “to give her the assurances she needs”.
Filming on the two-part drama is set to begin in September, with Keeley previously saying of Honour: “It is a privilege to be working on Honour as Buddy Club’s [her own production company] first ever project. In a time where honour killings are still rife, it is critical to shine a light on such an important subject.
“Banaz Mahmod’s story, and DCI Goode’s subsequent investigation, is certainly one that needs to be told and I am proud to be a part of it.”