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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.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Mazouz, and Kiefer Sutherland at the premiere of Touch in New York City in March 2012. Photo courtesy of Fox TV.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Indeed, if they valued our contributions. (Or even recognized our contributions as anything more than a convenient charachter.) We might be able to hang around longer than a season before heading off to another job that pays more. Lets hear about some REAL social workers who are doing some really special stuff.

    And I’m suddenly reminded of this comment I discovered in the book “DOCTOR AND SOCIAL WORKER: Essays on the meeting-ground of doctor and social worker.” It was written by Richard C. Cabot MD in 1918! ‘I remember a very marvelous social worker saying to me, “I do not want to die thinking I have never done anything but casework.” Casework seems to me as great a thing as any one can do. One might as well say, ” I have never done anything but miracles.” ‘

    Indeed. Miracles. Every day. In REAL life. Often, for barely more than minimum wages.

    one of the 47%

  2. Mr. Bachmann,

    I agree with you and thought this was a very stupid decision to get rid of the one person who it seems is helping ‘Martin’s’ son the most, especially when he was starting to open up to her. I’ve decided NOT to go forward with this show, with a heavy heart, for I get the feeling it will turn into something more along the lines of ’24’, which I’m not really interested in at this point in time.

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