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Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Play Social Worker in TV Series “Touch”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Photo courtesy of NBC.

British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been cast to play a social worker in Kiefer Sutherland’s upcoming Fox television series “Touch,” according to this article in the Hollywood Reporter.

According to news reports Sutherland will play the Martin Bohm, the  father of a mute, autistic boy who is adept with numbers and can predict the future.

Mbatha-Raw will portray social worker Clea Hopkins who is concerned about the boy’s care but eventually will team with the father when she learns about the child’s abilities.

Meanwhile, veteran actor Danny Glover has been cast as  Arthur DeWitt, a professor who specializes in children who have special abilities with numbers. Child actor David Mazouz will play Bohm’s son Jake.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the daughter of South African doctor Patrick Mbatha and nurse Anne Raw, has played in the popular, long-running British sci-fi series “Dr. Who” and had a starring role in the cancelled NBC series “Undercovers.”

“Touch” will be the creation of Tim Kring, who created the superhero series “Heroes” that aired on NBC from 2006-2010. According to news reports Fox executives are enthusiastic about the project because Kiefer’s last series “24” was a huge success.

“Touch” could air as a mid-season replacement, news reports said.

Q: Is anyone familiar with Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s work? How do you think she will do as a social worker?

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2 Comments

  1. Whether or not this actress can play a convincing role as a Social Worker is not dependent upon the actress’ skills alone. Any experienced and quality actor can play a role authentically if the role is written with authenticity. So at the risk of being redundant yet again, the issue here is whether or not the director, writer and producer have the smarts to hire a Social Worker as a consultant!! Just like actors portraying doctors, nurses, policemen, firemen, etc. the success of the role is equally dependent on the research done before the script ever gets in the hands of the performer. And the other wise thing to do is to hire the same consultant to be on set and observe, comment, etc. once the story goes live from rehearsals through to completion of the filming. That is considered standard protocol for the successful TV shows and films that focus on an area or profession that they want to portray as accurately as possible. So Gugu Mbatha-Raw may very well be an amazing actress, but if she is not given the much needed information regarding who Social Workers are and what we really do on our jobs, the role will fall very short of accurate.

    Kathy Gurland, LCSW
    NYC

  2. The point no one is raising is that if we as Social Workers are dependent upon others to define us then we are fighting a losing battle over our perception as defined by the media. The question we should be asking is why are Social Workers not out doing documentaries, writing blogs, and doing all the things that help us define ourselves.?

    We have allowed ourselves to become the follower class. The frontline pawns in a game that is increasingly controlled by others. Graduate schools should be providing the type of education that will prepare future Social Workers for the technological and media driven world in which we currently live. Instead, we are following a model that worked for an earlier time that is continually demonstrated does not work in the 21st century.

    Most of us went into the profession to “help” people. But we have to accept that that definition has now expanded. But sadly, we have not gotten the message. Yes, it is possible to help an individual but it is also possible to help a whole class of people by doing blogs, videos and documentaries. Please, enough of the hand wringing over how we are perceived by the media. Until we do more to define ourselves then all of these discussions are meaningless.

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