Saturday, 3 September 2016

Coronation Street apologises for 'Kunta Kinte' comment

Coronation Street has apologised after the show was accused of racism for a comment that Eva Price made about her hair this week.

The episode shown 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.

The show received almost 300 complaints, The Guardian reported.

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

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12 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

Enough has been said about the racism aspect of this but something else occurred to me. Eva's second line: 'No idea who that is ...' Eva is a ditzy sort of girl so how would she even know that was the name of a person? OK, we can write our own script and say perhaps Stella told her it was some guy but didn't explain who. The dialogue would have made more sense to Eva's character if she had said: 'No idea *where* that is', thinking maybe her mum went on holiday there. Still very inappropriate but, at least, more in keeping with the character. My point is that you can hear a writer's debate going on here. 'This might be tricky etc etc. Let's put another line in to make it sound funny'. You can tell when it's the writer making the joke and not keeping true to the character. Others in the scene, in this case Audrey and Maria, look totally blank and don't know how to react.

Pat said...

Thought it was totally unfair of the newspapers to splash Catherine Tyldesley's picture across the pieces about this issue, she is not personally responsible for it.

A Canadian said...

PC gone mad. It was a play on words "roots". HAIR roots and the show ROOTS. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that Corrie should apologize to these complaining people who have nothing better to do than look around for things that offend them.
I get offended when the English programs portray Irish and Scottish characters are portrayed as bad tempered drunks. Where do I lodge my complaint?

Anonymous said...

Soap opera..get over it!

Anonymous said...

To those who do not understand the need for an apology, it is because you are suddenly feeling excluded from something you were otherwise enjoying. Recognize that feeling? Now do you get it?

Anonymous said...

Soap opera or not,I am glad that the producers apologised as I thought it was in bad taste for Eva to compare the roots in her hair to Alex Hailey's book which chronicles the hardships of slavery.
It's to bad that Audrey who's older and possibly heard of the book ROOTS, didn't correct Eva on comparing a slave to her hair.
Sadly it's another example of how Corrie is in a bubble.

Anonymous said...

maybe all the writers sit up there in their ivory tower and just come up with these ridiculous storylines and unfortunately some very rude hurtful comments, perhaps this was done on purpose just to see if people noticed?? Hmmm makes you wonder - can anyone say "cheap media coverage"

Anonymous said...

Wow..Kunta Kinte...black roots..I guess that's a real big deal. Maybe if she had gray roots she might have said I have more gray roots than Donald Trump..would that have cause such a carry on? I doubt it. Always a double standard.

Anonymous said...

The offensive part is not the use of "Kunte Kinte" but the fact that the character who said it is such a small-minded idiot that she had no idea what she was actually referencing but chose to use the phrase anyway. Why do so many young people on this show have to be perpetually undereducated and socially retarded.

coconno196 said...

For goodness' sake, why does everyone misunderstand this. As A Canadian said, it's a pun on Eva's hair roots and Kunta Kinte's family roots, nothing to do with KK's hair! How is this racist? The real problem is that it didn't make sense for Eva to use an expression she didn't understand, and that Audrey, the only person in the salon who may be familiar with the mini-series or novel, wouldn't have explained it.

The.HR.Doctor said...

Political correctness run amok...

Cobblestone said...

What utter tripe! She was using an odd expression she'd heard her mother use. My grandmother used some peculiar - often unfathomable - expressions, and if anyone in the family uses them now, we all laugh. It doesn't make the character ignorant or small-minded; she's just too young to understand the cultural reference. It's patently obvious from some of the reactions that she's not the only one, because the cultural reference was no more offensive than the original series was offensive for daring to deal with the subject of slavery. I've worked in comedy for a long time and have often been confronted by people failing to recognise the THRUST of a joke, confusing it with the subject matter. Eva's line was not a gag about slavery, or black hair: it was a pun on the huge social phenomenon that was the tv series 'Roots', and the novel on which it was based, in which Alex Hailey traced his ancestry - his many 'roots' (or at least he pretended to; it was later revealed that he invented much of the story). It's a punning joke I can quite believe Stella making. She was the right age to remember how big the show was at the time. There is, I'm afraid, a general hysteria in the US whenever slavery is alluded to. It's like a collective denial, with everyone rushing to denounce it (Disney has never even released The Song of the South on home video or DVD in the US - and that's set in the post-manumission era!). This whole fuss has been kicked up by people who failed to understand a simple pun alluding to a book/tv series title; I agree it was disgraceful that Catherine Tyldesley was plastered across the tabloids under the headline 'racist joke' (it wasn't!) when all she did was speak a line written for her.

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