Thursday, November 24, 2016
British actress cleared over "disrespectful" mention of Kunta Kinte
In female haircare circles, having "roots" refers to blonded hair wich has grown out, showing its natural dark roots
An episode of Coronation Street which sparked hundreds of complaints over claims of racism did not breach the broadcasting code, the TV watchdog has ruled.
Ofcom investigated an episode broadcast on ITV in August in which a character described her hair as having 'more roots than Kunta Kinte'.
The remark refers to Roots, the novel by American author Alex Haley, which features an 18th century African slave of that name. A 1977 TV miniseries based on the book was a global sensation.
The comment sparked an online backlash, with outraged viewers branding it 'racist' and 'culturally insensitive'. Ofcom also received 472 complaints about the episode.
The 'Kunta Kinte' remark was made as the character Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, 32, paid a visit to a hair salon. Looking in the mirror at her dyed hair, she said: 'I have more roots than Kunta Kinte. No idea who that is, by the way, just something my mum used to say.'