Dozens of Coronation Street viewers blast ITV for 'racist' comment
BY ALEXANDRA RUCKI
A spokesman for the soap has since issued an apology
The episode, which was screened on ITV on Bank Holiday Monday, featured a scene involving the characters of Eva Price and Audrey Roberts. The creators of the soap have since apologised to viewers who found the phrase offensive.
In the episode Eva, who is played by Catherine Tyldesley, visits Audrey’s hair salon and comments: “I have more roots than Kunta Kinte. No idea who that is by the hair just something my mum used to say.”
Kunta Kinte was a character who featured in the novel Roots and was based on one of the author’s ancestors who was enslaved in Gambia then taken to America.
The offensive scene involved the characters of Eva Price and Audrey Roberts
Following the Corrie episode’s screening, dozens of viewers have posted messages on the official Coronation Street Facebook page complaining about the use of the phrase.
Aaron Moffat-Jackman, a trainee vicar from Old Trafford, told the M.E.N: “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.”
Another viewer tweeted: “Yo @ITV So what’s up with the cultural insensitivity on #Coronationstreet? “I got more Roots than Kunta Kinte” That’s kinda racist.”
In the episode Eva, who is played by Catherine Tyldesley, visits Audrey’s hair salon and comments: 'I have more roots than Kunta Kinte.'
Kenroy Brown wrote on Facebook: “Considering how long this show has been in existence, how times have changed and the fact that this show has won TV awards, how did these offensive words get past all the people that should have been aware of their historical content?
“Or maybe I’m giving you too much credit in thinking this was an oversight on someone’s part?
“If this was a Jewish, Muslim, LGBTG, or any other type of ‘joke’ there would’ve been uproar but once again as the intended target was BLACK PEOPLE it’s no big deal?
“You have millions of viewers who watch your show religiously and I do not think this was even close to being acceptable and was very insensitive.”
Dan Weatherman posted: “I would like to voice my absolute disgust at references made to Kunta Kinte on the 29/08/2016.
“I find the comment made extremely offensive given the connections to slavery and completely out of place for national TV or any place.”
Kunta Kinte was a character who featured in the novel Roots and was based on one of the author’s ancestors who was enslaved in Gambia then taken to America
Another comment on a Coronation Street blog said: “This Kunta Kinte comment was way, way, way inappropriate and very very offensive to black viewers. It was unnecessary and not relevant to the storyline what so ever so many other things could have been written instead such as I have more roots then a tree or something related to having roots rather then a slave “joke” mocking the horrific history of black people and the brutality and injustice that still happens today.”
A spokeswoman for ITV said: “We apologise if this dialogue has caused offence.”