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'Coronation Street' 'Kunta Kinte' Joke Cleared By Ofcom, Following Viewer Complaints

'On this occasion we found the comment was justified by its context.'

22/11/2016 12:12

‘Coronation Street’ has been cleared by Ofcom over a controversial joke that aired on the soap earlier this year.

Back in August, some viewers criticised what they felt was the inclusion of a “disrespectful” and even “racist” line, when Eva Price referenced ‘Roots’ character Kunta Kinte.

The moment in question saw Catherine Tyldesley’s character examining her hair in a salon mirror, lamenting: “I have more roots than Kunta Kinte. No idea who that is, by the way, just something my mum used to say.”

ITV
This moment didn't sit well with some 'Corrie' fans

After more than 450 viewers complained to Ofcom, the media regulator confirmed in the weeks that followed that they’d be launching an investigation.

However, in a new statement, they revealed they won’t be taking the matter any further.

They said: “We recognised that the character’s comment caused offence to some viewers. There is a long history on British television of soap characters behaving controversially and in ways that develop their characters.

“In this case, the character said that she did not understand the meaning of her comment, which served to illustrate her naivety. Therefore, on this occasion we found that the comment was justified by its context.

“Ofcom also took into account Eva’s subsequent remark that she did not understand who Kunta Kinte was, and that she was repeating the phrase because it was something her mother used to say. This reflected the foolishness, and lack of sensitivity and cultural awareness, of her character.”

The TV watchdog has also cleared a controversial rape scene in the BBC drama ‘Poldark’.

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