What is Sami’s view on the feud between Ste and the Maaliks?
At first, Sami understands Ste’s resentment towards the Maaliks and Misbah in particular because what happened with Tegan, even though he knows Misbah was not at fault, so allows Ste to grieve. However, when things start to progress from grieving into malicious nasty behaviour Sami steps in and says enough is enough.
Is Sami worried when he sees Ste with his new friends?
He doesn’t think much about it at first as there is no blatant ‘in your face’ racism. The first signs for Sami are at the end of the episode when the Maaliks walk into the Hutch and there’s a bit of hostility between them and Ste’s mates, which Ste himself doesn’t actually witness. At this point when Sami wonders if this could be a racial thing. I think that is the case with racism when it isn’t so ‘in your face’, but it takes you by surprise and it makes you almost question yourself. ‘Did that really happen? Is it racism? Am I overthinking it?’ All those things are going through Sami’s head at that point.
Why is it important for Hollyoaks to address this issue?
Racism has been happening for years and unfortunately it still exists today, and so this story needs to be told. Hopefully it makes people talk about it as, essentially, that is what we want, for there to be more of a conversation on the subject. Maybe it will help some of our younger viewers to speak up and tell someone about it if they are suffering from any racism, or if people do see it happening to reiterate that it is wrong and we shouldn’t live in a society where we just ‘put up with it’.
How did you react when you were told about the far right story?
I thought it was a brilliant storyline as it’s a topic that I am personally very passionate about, so I feel very proud to be a part of it and get this message across. The fact that we have a special episode emphasises this message even more. As it is such a delicate subject I was also nervous, as I wanted to do it justice and make sure it was done correctly and handled in the right way. I don’t think I’ve ever scrutinised a script as much as I have with this storyline as even a change of a small word can completely change the meaning of a sentence. It was very important that we got that right.
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