In a recent episode of Coronation Street, screened on Bank Holiday Monday, Eva Price (played by Catherine Tyldesley) said, “her hair had more roots than Kunta Kinte” before adding “no idea who that is, by the way, just something my mum used to say” while in discussion with Audrey Roberts in a salon.
The comments drew over 300 complaints from viewers and several went on social media to voice their displeasure at the scene:
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 book was adapted into a mini series in 1977. A reboot of the show, starring British actor Malachi Kirby, aired earlier this year.
Aaron Moffat-Jackman, a trainee vicar from Manchester, where the soap is filmed said, “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.”
A spokeswoman for ITV said, “We apologise if this dialogue has caused offence.”