It’s been revealed that the cast and crew of Coronation Street have been issued with a warning that “gay slurs” and homophobic comments will not be tolerated by the soap’s bosses.
The warning comes after members of staff at ITV complained that “hate-filled” homophobic comments were made on the set of the show.
Bosses apparently sent a memo to everyone involved in the long-running soap which read, “We have just been made aware of ¬several recent instances of homophobic remarks being made on the studio floor.
“We are sure the vast majority of people working on Coronation Street find such behaviour unacceptable…
“But we’d like to make it absolutely clear that this is completely unacceptable. ITV has a bullying and harassment policy which clearly states that such behaviour may lead to disciplinary proceedings.”
The Mirror adds, “The notice was placed in three locations around the soap’s Manchester studios following two complaints.”
The paper adds that it’s believed the comments were made about Anthony Cotton, who plays gay factory worker Sean Tully. It’s not known if he heard the remarks.
An insider told the paper, “This is an extremely worrying development. Coronation Street prides itself on being a tolerant and accepting place.
“One of our most popular actors, Antony Cotton, is gay and so is our outgoing executive producer Phil Collinson…
“We have had a number of gay characters on The Cobbles. The fact people are making homophobic jokes on set is unacceptable.
“And what makes this even more worrying is it seems this was not an isolated incident.
“From what we know, a couple of ¬members of crew were deeply offended by the kind of language being used by some people on set
“It is unclear whether it was crew or cast who were making the jokes, but it seems certain people were starting to make some really crude comments and that a nasty culture was developing.
“We took the view that we had to nip this in the bud before it got out of control.
“It was a big call putting these notices up as we were aware there was every chance it could leak out, but the situation was serious enough we had to take action.
“There is a duty of care to all our staff and none of them should be made to feel uncomfortable while they’re at work because of the behaviour of others.
“Cast and crew alike have been left in no doubt that anyone who continues to use homophobic language will be severely disciplined.
“People caught in future face the real possibility of getting sacked. We have taken decisive action and are hoping this is the end of it.”
The memo was apparently signed by senior producers Kieran Roberts, Stuart Blackburn and Robbie Sandison.
A Coronation Street spokeswoman said, “ITV takes the feelings of all employees extremely seriously.
“It was felt that this message should be put up as a reminder to everybody.”
Here’s a reminder of Anthony in the role of Sean…