Coronation Street apologises for “racist” Kunta Kinte comment
Coronation Street has apologised after a character made a racist joke about Kunta Kinte on Monday this week.
More than 270 viewers complained to Ofcom about Eva Price’s remark she had “more roots than Kunta Kinte” upon entering Audrey Roberts’ salon.
She followed it up with: “No idea who that is, by the way, just something my mum used to say.”
Kunta Kinte was the main character in the novel and TV series Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the story of a Gambian man taken from his home and enslaved in America. It is well known for its brutal and uncompromising depiction of life as a slave in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A spokesperson for Coronation Street said: “We apologise if this dialogue has caused offence.”
Senior lecturer in American history at Northumbria University, Joe Street, told i: “Having a white character say, ‘I have more roots than Kunta Kinte’ is somewhat insensitive to the history of oppression and the fact that he was a slave. The white person was always seen as the slave owner.”
“I would have thought scriptwriters could have come up with something more reflective of the Coronation Street characters and audience. For them to dismiss that it might be insensitive is a bit disappointing.”