Corrie star reveals his children suffer racist abuse at school
Ed Bailey is currently at the centre of a topical racism storyline in Coronation Street, which sees the character try to ignore vicious jibes from bigot Don. With the character having experienced racism all his life, he believes that it’s best to just ignore it in the hope that it will go away.
But when Don ups his rotten behaviour publicly, Ed finds himself snapping and putting him in his place – and it’s a storyline that actor Trevor Michael Georges is pleased to tackle on the show as it remains an ongoing issue in the UK today.
The actor explained: ‘People watch and take what they see to heart. The subject matter won’t go away if we ignore it and many don’t have anywhere to go to find a platform for reflection. It’s also good for Coronation Street to stay grafted to the real world to maintain its own relevance.
‘A few weeks ago I went into my children’s school to discuss issues one of my children was having regarding racist remarks made by one of their peers – more than 40 years after I suffered the same at school.
‘Society doesn’t change easily and recessions, wars, politics and terrorism can bring back the same ogres. You can seldom fix anything over night but you can keep trying to heal a recurring sickness and I think that’s the process we’re part of.’
Pondering the moment that Don’s behaviour prompts Ed to stand up for himself, Trevor continued: ‘The remarks evokes memories from decades of abuse all stored away in the back of Ed’s head where he has tried to hide them along with emotional pain.
‘Ed has experienced racism many times but, as times change, his attitude has changed. In the 60s, when racism was everywhere, you just accepted that was your lot for life.
‘As society moved forward, Ed has re-evaluated his past and seen the scars inside him for what they are. The more he comes to terms with those scars the more his emotions rise to the surface.
‘Ed spent his formative years in a country rife with racism. To flare up one racist then, would have set off every other racist in ear shot or a telephone call away. The arrival of one racist at the Bistro, to Ed, signifies many others maybe nearby and that a quiet retreat is the best strategy.’
He added: ‘Ed is happily and selfishly reliving his childhood through James. James’ success is proof that Ed could have done equally well had Ed had James’ opportunities as a child. Anything deviating from his path to stardom is destroying destiny for Ed. But he does not understand that James has his own destiny and that is destroying his relationship with his son.
‘Don delivers the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Prior to that, Michael has taken a stand against his own father on the subject and James’ position has also been plaguing Ed. Aggie is constantly battering him so he’s had no peace from anywhere. Something was going to give.
‘The reaction from the rest of the street is really heart warming and reminds Ed that things have changed for the better. It helps him let go of old demons which in turn helps him re-evaluate his contribution to James’ troubles.’
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