Following concerns from the victims’ relatives about the original Yorkshire Ripper title, ITV has changed its next Peter Sutcliffe drama.
The seven-part true crime series will now be known as The Long Shadow, after the families indicated that the previous moniker would be ‘disrespectful’ and would create a ‘dark brand’ around him.
Sutcliffe murdered 13 people and attempted to murder seven more between 1975 and 1980, before arriving in 1981, and he was condemned to 20 concurrent life terms.
His sentence was commuted to life in jail in 2010, and he died three years ago in prison at the age of 74 after acquiring covid.
The show’s scriptwriter, George Kay, has written a script that focuses on the victims and the police investigation into the killings.
Sutcliffe’s character appears in the series extremely briefly, and only in later episodes.
In a statement, to the Daily Telegraph, Kay said: ‘We started by calling it The Yorkshire Ripper but in the beginning we hadn’t learnt, as we did when making the show, that the moniker used to describe Peter Sutcliffe – which obviously began before anyone knew his real name, but continued after – was disrespectful in many ways.
‘The victims’ families certainly don’t want that name being applied to Peter Sutcliffe because it creates a dark brand around a man who doesn’t deserve that sort of attention, and especially not that verb.
‘That was one of our lessons. We’ve been working on this for four years and in that time we’ve met lots of people in all parts of this story.
‘We’ve tried to learn and change and understand their stories and their opinions, and so because of that the title changed from The Yorkshire Ripper.’
The family of seven of his victims and survivors have already chastised Netflix for the title of its four-part series The Ripper, which they were informed would be named Once Upon a Time in Yorkshire.
‘The title ‘the Yorkshire Ripper’ has terrified us and our families for the past four decades,’ they stated in an open letter published in the Sunday Times in 2020.
‘It glorifies the brutal violence of Peter Sutcliffe, and grants him a celebrity status that he does not deserve.
‘Please remember that the word “ripper” relates to ripping flesh and the repeated use of this phrase is irresponsible, insensitive and insulting to our families and our mothers’ and grandmothers’ legacies.’
The Long Shadow is coming to ITV1 and ITVX later this month.
Source My Celebrity Life.