Sunday 23 October 2016

Coronation Street forced to apologise after 300 complaints over 'racist' remark in Audrey's salon

Published 01/09/2016 | 08:05

Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, said
Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, said "I have more roots that Kunta Kinte". Photo: ITV

Coronation Street bosses have apologised after the soap was accused of racism for a comment a character made about her hair.

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The episode on Bank Holiday Monday saw Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, visit Audrey's hair salon, where she remarked: "I have more roots than Kunta Kinte.

"No idea who that is, by the way, just something my mum used to say."

Kunta Kinte was a character from the novel Roots: The Saga Of An American Family, which was adapted into a hit TV miniseries.

Based on a real-life ancestor of author Alex Haley, it tells the story of a young man taken from Gambia and sold as a slave.

Viewers complained about the comment on Twitter.

Shiv Henry wrote: "Really Coronation Street? I think you need to have a word with the scriptwriter!"

Epic Mase RCG wrote: "So what's up with the cultural insensitivity on Coronation Street? 'I got more Roots than Kunta Kinte' That's kinda racist..."

Monica Rambeau wrote: "White people shouldn't feel comfortable to make Kunta Kinte 'jokes' let alone write them into scripts.."

Aaron Moffat-Jackman, a trainee vicar from Old Trafford, told the Manchester Evening News: "What it did was trivialise a horrific traumatic time for many people.

"Particularly at a time when things are ongoing in America, with many black people getting killed by police, by white people. I think it would be very welcome for ITV to apologise."

A spokeswoman for the soap said: "We apologise if this dialogue has caused offence."

TV watchdog Ofcom said: "Ofcom has received 278 complaints about Coronation Street, which aired on Monday.

"We will assess these complaints before we decide whether to investigate or not."

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