Coronation Street is to be investigated by broadcasting regulator Ofcom following complaints about an episode in which Eva Price (Catherine Tyldesley) referenced Roots character Kunta Kinte.
Scenes broadcast last month saw Eva pay a visit to Audrey’s salon and remark on the state of her hair with the comment: “I have more roots than Kunta Kinte. No idea who that is. Just something my mum used to say.”
Roots, written by Alex Haley, told the story of a man sold into slavery and was adapted into a 1977 miniseries that went on to win nine Emmy awards.
Catherine Tyldesley as Eva Price on Coronation Street
Ofcom has now launched an investigation after receiving 472 complaints about the episode, with concern expressed by viewers that the dialogue belittled the seriousness of Roots’s subject matter.
“We’re investigating whether a comment made by a character in Coronation Street was offensive and breached generally accepted standards,” a spokesperson for Ofcom said today.
Back in August, a Coronation Street spokesperson said: “We apologise if this dialogue has caused offence.”
News of the Ofcom investigation is the second race-related storm to have hit the ITV soap within the last few days. Actor Marc Anwar – who has played Sharif Nazir since February 2014 – was sacked yesterday after posting alleged “racially offensive” comments on Twitter.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of this week’s drama on Coronation Street below.