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Emmerdale defends racism storyline: 'It's an important issue'

Emmerdale bosses have defended their decision to develop a race-related storyline, arguing that it is an "important issue".

Last week, the show aired a scene in which village newcomer William (Dudley Sutton) made a racist remark to Ruby Haswell (Alicya Eyo), leaving some viewers shocked and sparking 15 complaints to the broadcasting regular Ofcom.

Emmerdale: Alicya Eyo as Ruby Haswell


Alicya Eyo as Ruby Haswell

However, a spokesperson for the ITV soap told The Voice that William will appear in six episodes and confirmed that the racism plot will be developed further.

"The storyline involving Ruby and William explores the important issue of prejudice and how it is dealt with," the spokesperson explained.

"In subsequent episodes we see Ruby challenge William about his racism and confront him with the hurt that such language causes.

"In the end, through professionalism and determination she succeeds in making him aware that his remarks aren't just casual 'banter', as he believes, but are deeply offensive. As a result he is seen to change his ways."

Emmerdale continues tomorrow (March 6) at 7pm and 8pm on ITV.

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