Anti-Diamond Miniseries To Air on ABC

The “Diamonds” mini-series, which bills itself as a look “inside the glamorous – and sometimes dangerous and illegal – diamond industry,” will air on ABC this May.


I had written about this mini-series before when it was it just a Canadian production and titled “Rough”; you can see the trailer here. Based on it, the main plot strands seem to be:


-         A battle of power at the company “Denmont” (which represents you-know-what.) The ruthless “new generation” head of “Denmont” starts dating the African supermodel who appears in advertising for his brand. In other words, Nicky Oppenheimer has an affair with Iman. Ye Gods.


-         A U.S. Senator searches for the cause of her daughter’s death in Sierra Leone, which is eventually traced back to Denmont. The fake Iman doesn’t look too happy.


-         A female explorer – which, I’m guessing, is based on this woman – discovers a diamond mine in Canada, and comes into conflict with Denmont.


The original description included a sub-plot about a child mercenary in Sierra Leone, but that does not appear in the trailer.


According to this, the series was “inspired by” the (okay) book Diamond by Matthew Hart, who is described as a “former mining editor” for Rapaport. (He’s also sometimes referred to as its actual editor, but I’m pretty sure that’s not true.) That book had a lot of detail about the Canadian diamond rush.


Given the mediocre box office receipts for Blood Diamond, it’s a mystery why these things keep getting made; what happened in the Sierra Leone civil war isn’t exactly a fun night’s entertainment. And this one looks pretty trashy. But it certainly looks like yet another PR black eye for De Beers, and most likely, for the industry in general, at a time when the industry certainly doesn’t need it.


The trade survived “Blood Diamond,” but these things have an impact. Take this little squib from the Daily Beast, which appeared last week. It mentions that “diamond mines” are “notorious for poor wages and inhuman working conditions.” Now, obviously this author is a little mixed up between the industrial mines the article discusses, in Botswana and elsewhere — which are generally unionized and have drawn very few complaints – and the ugly artisinal mines that were at the heart of the “conflict diamond” issue. But it’s a sad fact that many Americans cannot tell African countries apart. And these perceptions are fed by movies like these.


Is it time to freshen up diamondfacts?

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