Hollyoaks has marked a new first by releasing a special director's commentary version of its recent unconscious bias episode.
Hollyoaks has uploaded the episode to YouTube with commentary by Martine Deveraux actress Kéllé Bryan, the episode's writer Karla Marie Sweet, and its director Edem Kelman, with the trio talking through their inspirations for the episode and sharing their real-life experiences.
The episode examined the ways in which Martine, as a Black woman, and Grace Black (Tamara Wall), as a white woman, had vastly different experiences of the same day.
Both Martine and Grace were seen getting ready for the day, being late for a delivery and attending an interview for Businesswoman of the Year, before they both headed to the hospital for an appointment after they both recently discovered a lump on their breast.
Unfortunately, despite the apparent similarities between Martine and Grace's days, many elements were very different, with Martine experiencing a number of microaggressions from others and being denied the chance to see the doctor after Peri Lomax (Ruby O'Donnell) double booked her and Grace's appointments.
Martine headed home and answered a question for her Businesswoman of the Year application about a 'day in her life', explaining that she was tired of microaggressions.
"When it comes to the impact unconscious bias is having on Black lives – Black women's lives – the facts speak for themselves," she said. "Being a Black woman means no matter how early you get up in the morning, you never really get a head start because the game is already rigged and it's not in your favour...
"That place where racism and sexism meet in the middle, that's where Black women live our lives."
The commentary features a number of insights into why the soap's cast and crew made the decisions they did in making the episode, from highlighting the fact that 'skin-coloured' plasters are designed for white skin, to explaining why certain camera angles were used.
Speaking about one of the episode's most powerful lines, writer Karla says: "People say racism doesn't exist in this country. But it does.
"And a lot of people have been saying that recently, haven't they, that racism doesn't exist in this country. But hopefully, we're helping people understand a bit more about how it does affect us in our daily lives."
You can watch the full unconscious bias episode with director's commentary here.
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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