Coronation Street has dropped a freelance director who has directed recent episodes of the soap after he posted comments online about the subject of racism in the media industry.
Director Steve Finn will no longer be working on the soap after ITV said that he had written social media posts that were "inconsistent with the values of both Coronation Street and ITV".
According to HuffPost UK, Finn has made several public comments on social media about the subject of racism, including one in reference to remarks made by TV historian David Olusoga and another in response to an interview given by actor and director Noel Clarke.
Finn also claimed that he has not seen any racism in the media industry for many years and questioned a Channel 4 documentary called Is Covid Racist?
An ITV spokesperson told Digital Spy that Finn will not be working on Coronation Street again following the comments.
They said: "We have been made aware of comments on social media by a freelance director, Steve Finn, which are inconsistent with the values of both Coronation Street and ITV. The director will not therefore be returning to Coronation Street."
Finn had been directing episodes of the soap over the past two years and HuffPost UK reports that he contributed to scenes airing this week, including some featuring in the Christmas Day episode.
2020 has seen an increased focus on the importance of diversity in all industries, including in the TV industry, with Marcus Ryder writing in a Royal Television Society article earlier this year that "for Black and brown people, the UK media industry is a toxic place to work".
He cites a report which states that "Black African, Caribbean or Black British men are almost 40% more likely to have been bullied in comparison to men overall working in the industry" and that "three-quarters of mid-career BAME women have contemplated a career change to protect their wellbeing".
A number of Black actors and those working behind the scenes on TV productions have spoken out this year about discriminatory incidents they have been subject to or witnessed, including former Hollyoaks actress Rachel Adedeji.
As a result, several networks and production companies have set out measures to improve diversity and create a more inclusive working environment, with the UK's major soaps all addressing the issue.
Coronation Street aired a storyline earlier this year about racism and its impact, as Ed Bailey (Trevor Michael Georges) confronted Bistro manager Don about shocking racist comments he had been making about Ed and his family.
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.
Watch: Black Lives Matter - Will Britain change? Hard facts laid bare in Race And Revolution TV show
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