Like a lot of fictional villains, BMF‘s Lamar is a complicated man.
He fights to claim children that are not biologically his, attempts to mow down romantic rivals with his car, and fulfills his baser needs by having sex with a woman on the dirty restroom floor of a fast-food restaurant. It’s these kinds of acts that have fans of the Starz crime drama mocking and deriding Lamar (played by British actor Eric Kofi-Abrefa) on social media and beyond.
BMF showrunner Randy Huggins says Lamar is a composite character from within Meech and Terry’s real cocaine kingpin world. But he also represents larger issues that plague the Black community.
“It’s not just a drug show,” Huggins tells TVLine. “We delve into mental illness with Lamar. Back in the 1980s, when [President] Reagan closed all those state-run mental health facilities, people like Lamar were released with nowhere else to go. He may have gone in the asylum thinking it was easier than prison, but he was probably already mentally ill and got worse.”
Many viewers believe, based on his workman boots, that Lamar shot Terry in the eye. And his rivalry over territory and Monique in coming episodes will only heighten the bad blood between him and Meech.
Steve Harris, who costars as Det. Vaughn Bryant, says Lamar helps to establish the cat-and-mouse game between the Flenory brothers and their enemies.
“There were real-life guys like Lamar in the game,” Harris shares. “Some fans may get tired of him, but he is important to the larger story the show is trying to tell.”
And then there’s that sex scene. Some Twitter users equated the intimate moment with fat-shaming, but Huggins and executive producer/director Tasha Smith argue that wasn’t the show’s intention. The two created the scene together.
“This is the kind of woman Lamar would get with after getting out of prison,” Smith says. “Sorry if people get offended. We went for the realism of his situation.”
Adds Huggins, “That’s real. He had to get with somebody after his baby’s mama slammed the door in his face. We weren’t shaming her. We were showing her as a real woman, who isn’t a glammed-up supermodel, who would want to have sex with him.”
What do you think of Lamar on BMF, and do you sympathize with his mental illness? Drop your thoughts in the comments.