Tony Hirst reveals to Soaplife how Paul’s slip of the tongue sparks a race row with Lloyd that could become all-out war in Coronation Street!
So what on earth has Paul said to upset Lloyd?
"He’s having a game of darts with Steve in the Rovers, but their good-natured banter over not cheating turns sour when Paul tells Steve to 'play the white man'. Lloyd’s daughter Jenna overhears and complains to Lloyd…"
And Lloyd complains to Paul…
"But he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. Paul’s never really considered what the comment means – it’s just something his dad always said. If he had, he’d realise he’s used a piece of racist, colonial language that implies black men are cheats and not to be trusted - obviously a bad thing to do. Paul’s not thinking straight at the moment, though. Things aren’t going well with Eileen and at work he’s accused of aggressive behaviour towards kids who hoax-called the fire station."
If he meant no offence, why won’t he apologise to Lloyd?
"For an instant it looks like he’s going to, but then Lloyd leaves so the moment is gone. Then the problem escalates…"
Lloyd accuses Paul of being racist…
"And Paul’s shocked – that’s the polar opposite of how he sees himself."
But what is his defence?
"This storyline is really about the impact of language – how it’s interpreted by different people, different generations. Paul uses the ‘white man’ saying from a position of what he believes to be all innocence, yet it clearly has a devastating impact."
And it affects his relationship with Eileen…
"Absolutely. Eileen is in an impossible situation. She wants to maintain and protect her relationship with Lloyd, who is her boss as well as her friend, and Paul has brought this to her door."
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