You may remember that some months ago, just one week after our inaugural memorial service and four days after International Slavery Remembrance Day an episode of ITV’s Coronation Street aired with one of its characters uttering the remark ‘‘I’ve got more roots than Kunta Kinte, no idea who that is by the way it’s something my mum used to say.’
As can be expected, this remark caused outrage amongst the African/black community (as well as us here at Slavery Remembrance) who were rightly offended by the remark. What perhaps was more alarming than the comment was the hostility exhibited by many members of the British public who were angry that the African/black community were offended by the remark. The leader of this angry group people appeared to be LBC’s Ian Collins who covered the topic on his radio show. The general gist of those who were angry at our stance was that slavery was something we should get over and stop going on about. This thought process does beg the question, do they feel the same way about the Holocaust and Remembrance Day?
As like many others we wrote a complaint to Ofcom, we also wrote to the Chief Exec of ITV explaining our outrage and our dissatisfaction with their one lined apology, which included the qualifier ‘if’. The reply we received from ITV only raised more concerns of the ignorance and racist disregard displayed at ITV.
Now today Ofcom has ruled that ITV did not breach their rules. We are absolutely dumbfounded by this finding. However, we do recognise that we live in a world steeped in subconscious racism so perhaps it is not so surprising that Ofcom ruled this way. Regardless, the ruling is still unacceptable.
We shall be challenging this ruling and we ask that you all do to. In the meantime we have decided to openly publish the letter written to our founder in reply to ITV. It contains an insight into racism in the world today, which has been hidden away for too long and now needs to be confronted.
We received a response to our letter this morning which basically states: Ofcom has ruled, we have already apologised and shall not comment any further.
You can see a pdf version of the letter here: ITV_letter, or simply read below.