To exclude, to expel:
Emmerdale actor Emile John says he ‘didn’t see a Black Doctor coming’, but the 25-year-old is sure Ncuti Gatwa will be seen by young people as a ‘hero’
Having ended racism herself, Emmerdale actor Emile John is proud that soap is solving the problem.
But while Emile’s character, attorney Ethan Anderson, finds himself in a terrible position defending a racist assailant, off-screen he finds the world is headed in the right direction.
The changes in film and television are obvious, one example coming in the form of the new Time Lord Ncuti Gatwa.
“I didn’t see a Negro Doctor coming in,” said Emile. “I think it’s unbelievable. I texted my partner as soon as I heard and said ‘Can you believe it?’ It’s on the same level – as big as having a future colored James Bond, it’s also huge.
“Young people will see a black man as Doctor Who – as a hero.
“Me and my friends used to be on the field to be David Tennant – for a generation of black people to see the Black Doctor as a gift. Representative problem. ”
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The 25-year-old has also seen things get better in other ways. “I have benefited from the progress made in regards to the selection of diverse TV programmes,” he said.
“Hiring people of color is as common as hiring anyone else. And playing a young aspiring professional with a mild-mannered personality like my character Ethan is part of that. ”
Ethan first came to Dales last January as the son of new vicar Charles Anderson.
Most recently, viewers were captivated by the racist attack on Billy Fletcher and its aftermath, when Ethan agreed to defend attacker Jordan Greenlow. Tonight Ethan will pull out of defending a racist, with horrifying consequences as he puts himself in jeopardy.
Emile, who lives in London, said he could draw on his own life experience while filming the traumatic scenes, which will air tomorrow night.
“I’ve lived through what you’re seeing on screen – racist attitudes and verbal abuse – not to the extent of Billy and Ethan,” he said. I have never been physically assaulted, but violations can leave emotional scars. So of course, I understand.
“Whether it’s covert racism or egregious physical racial assault – both are equally bad. But I haven’t seen any other soap that tackles racism as boldly as this. I think Emmerdale was incredibly brave to take on it.
He revealed: “The Black Lives Matter movement is very powerful because it has taught me so many things. “You can appeal to people for the usual racism that minorities have been perpetuating for so long. While I would prevent it internally, I don’t do it now. I called it out. And someone can really learn something.
“Although it is not the responsibility of black people to educate people on how not to be racist. I remember all the so-called sarcasm and digging that I would laugh.
“I’ve been in situations where I’ve experienced discrimination, something was supposed to be out of order, and I laughed along and then did a double. [take] and thought “wait a minute, that’s not really funny.”
Emile’s ascent to soap star hasn’t been as hard – just leaving drama school in 2020 and landing the role of Ethan in his first TV audition.
“It is a dream come true to be featured on such a beloved series,” he said.
But can Hollywood make the call?
Emile’s idol, 49-year-old Idris Elba, who also started her career on Channel 5’s Family Affairs series, is a well-known international star. His name has also been a favorite on a list of potential new Bonds – but last month he disqualified himself.
“I have a lot of respect for what Idris has achieved when he’s faced more hurdles as a black actor,” Emile said.
“I really like Emmerdale, but there will be times when I want to see what else is out there. This is a big industry that I’m after Idris. And now I can line up for that James Bond spot! ”
Emmerdale will air on ITV tomorrow, 7:30pm.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/emmerdale-star-emile-john-says-27003773 Emmerdale star Emile John says new Doctor Who actor will be 'hero' for young people