Coronation Street's ‘hideous racism' divides viewers
Coronation Street has been slammed by viewers after a character was subject to racist and sexist abuse during Wednesday night’s episode.
The ITV soap’s Alya Nazir (Sair Khan) was told to “lighten up” her skin colour during a business meeting with potential business clients for the Underworld factory alongside Aidan Connor (Shayne Ward).
Justin and Dale Parker told her “her lot” were boring and that “if you come here you should behave the way we do”.
They also made repeated sexist comments and kept referring to her as Aidan’s assistant.
As Aidan – who is Alya’s business partner in the Underworld venture – went to get a drink, Dale let out the torrent of racist abuse.
“Oh I forgot your lot don’t have a sense of humour,” said Dale, while Alya’s face dropped.
He added: “Lighten up will you. Oh I’m sorry you can’t you’re stuck that colour.”
As Alya sought to ignore the abuse, Aidan leapt to his business partner’s defence as the pair laughed it off as a joke.
She was left feeling sick but told Aidan: “It’s not the first time I’ve met blokes like them and I doubt it’ll be the last.”
Some viewers found the racist comments offensive and criticised the soap for their pre-watershed broadcast, while others thought it was important to highlight the issue.
@WelshFreak tweeted: “When a racist comment is made in a soap…you know it’s time to stop watching #Corrie so unnecessary and out of date.”
@TrudyDownes wrote: “Please get rid of the racists in corrie. dont like them one bit.”
@TinyPurplePug posted: “This is just bad, I mean yeh racism is something that happens everyday and it shouldn’t but seeing it on tv, oh god.”
@KanaCorrie tweeted: “This racist Jack-ass is making me feel sick, people like him are a disappointment to the entire human race. Racism, sexism, homophobia etc should never be ‘joked’ about.”
@Ruth1772 wrote: “Hideous racists on Corrie! Be strong Alya and show them you’re not going to bend under such horrific abuse.”
Others praised the soap for highlighting racism in society.
@DarrenAmos tweeted: “brave move #Corrie tackling a racist storyline. its shocking hearing them things on tv but im glad corrie are going all out to show what a lot of people have to put up with on a daily basis.”
@Nasuddin wrote: “Fair play to corrie I don’t have any bad feelings towards them, they are just highlighting racism and sadly it still exists in real life.”
@MickDavies posted: “It’s good that #Corrie has exposed just how blatant #Racism in this country can be.”
Ahead of the episode airing, viewers were warned there would be “scenes of racial abuse and language that some viewers may find upsetting”.
A spokeswoman for the soap said: “This storyline tackles the issue of racism, behaviour which is completely abhorrent but that sadly still occurs in society and the storyline reflects this.
“There was a clear warning of ‘scenes of racial abuse with offensive language’ before the episode aired.”