EastEnders cleared of allegations of racism

EastEnders has been cleared over complaints that a comment made by character Shabnam Masood was ‘racist’.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom decided to take no action after receiving 87 complaints about the episode shown on January 14. Muslim Shabnam was shown berating her father Masood Ahmed for dating a ‘white woman’, Carol Jackson.

It marked the return of Shabnam (Rakhee Thakrar) to Albert Square after spending five years in Pakistan, where she has become a devout Muslim with strong religious views.

The BBC said that Masood was shown expressing his discontent with her opinions in a subsequent episode. The broadcaster also received a number of complaints about racial discrimination after the programme screened.

The BBC responded to the objections, saying: “EastEnders has a rich history of tackling social issues. The show does not advocate racism or intolerance in any way, in fact it seeks to challenge these negative views.”