Emmerdale plans to introduce black family following Black Lives Matter movement

Emmerdale have unveiled their plans to introduce a black family into the heart of the Yorkshire village in a bid to create more diversity on the soap.

The soap which is set in the mountainous Yorkshire Dales is mainly made up of caucasian characters but features several BAME characters including Ellis Chapman [Aaron Anthony], Billy Fletcher [Jay Kontzle] and Al Chapman [Michael Wildman].

But, big wigs at the production were inspired by the recent Black Lives Matter movement and wanted to make sure that all types of families were portrayed accurately on screen.

Managing Director of Continuing Drama & Head of ITV in the North, John Whiston confirmed that casting was already underway.

"On Emmerdale, we are currently casting a brand new Black family who will come in right at the heart of the village," he told Digital Spy.

He went on to say: "The Black Lives Matter movement rightly gave us an impetus to a great many initiatives on-screen and off-screen. Off-screen, we're working on our Diversity Acceleration Plan, which is part of ITV's overall Diversity Action Plan.

"For us, a key part of that is increasing the number of BAME writers and directors we employ as they are the key creative powerhouse behind the shows."

John added: "This is something we are making real progress on, though obviously there is more to be done."

In recent months, ITV has been airing a campaign named Black Voices which broadcasts short films with people talking about their brushes with racism.

Fellow ITV soap Coronation Street has also confirmed plans to share a heartbreaking storyline centred around racism.

Earlier this year, Hollyoaks faced accusations of racism on set after singer turned actress Rachel Adedji accused bosses of using racial slurs while black actresses were allegedly told to change their hair.

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

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