Gugu Mbatha-Raw will not return as social worker on “Touch”
British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw will not play social worker Clea Hopkins during the second second of the hit Fox TV series “Touch,” which premieres Feb. 1, 2013.
“At this time, Clea Hopkins is not returning,” Fox TV Director of Publicity Josh Governale told SocialWorkersSpeak.org.
In the sci-fi/fantasy series actor Kiefer Sutherland portrays Martin Bohm, a widower who has an autistic son Jake (actor David Mazouz) who is obsessed with numbers.
Martin and Jake’s social worker Clea Hopkins discover the child uses numbers to predict the future and connect seemingly unrelated people.
In fact, they later learn Jake is one of the 36 Righteous Ones mentioned in Jewish mystical beliefs. The 36 Righteous ones justify humankind’s existence in the eyes of God.
At the end of the first season Clea learns a sinister corporation called AsterCorp is trying to take custody of Jake and study and exploit his gift. She helps Martin and Jake escape and go on the run.
Since the series setting moved from a New York City residential center for children with special needs to various parts of the country Clea’s role obviously was not as important. Mbatha-Raw also was pursuing other roles, according to her representatives in London.
She is now filming “Belle,” a British historical drama about a mixed race woman raised in aristocratic society in the 18th century. Mbatha-Raw is also biracial, the daughter of a South African doctor and British nurse.
The National Association of Social Workers and it’s website SocialWorkersSpeak.org, which helps social workers influence how they and issues they care about are portrayed in media, would like to thank Fox Television for letting social workers interact with the program.
NASW Senior Public Relations Specialist Greg Wright met with “Touch” Executive Producer Carol Barbee and some of the writing staff in March 2012 to offer social workers as expert advisers.
“Touch” writers took NASW up on the offer and held a conference call with social worker experts at NASW headquarters in Washington, D.C. to advise them on plot points. Mbatha-Raw had also met with social workers on her own to hone the role.
“Touch” invited NASW representatives to the premiere party in New York City in March and Mbatha-Raw sent a message to social workers in honor of National Social Work Month (to read the full message click here).
“Anyone going into it has to have a selfless heart,” she said of the social work profession. “It’s a mixture of being strong and empathetic.“