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Is Eastenders racist?
Is the Paul Trueman believable?
Is Paul Trueman believable?
Eastenders star Gary Beadle says the soap needs to be more responsible with storylines for their black characters.
Gary Beadle told 1Xtra that he would never say that Eastenders was racist but was disappointed with his final storyline.

Since joining four years ago Paul Trueman has turned from a loveable rogue to a drug dealer.
Do you think Paul's dealer storyline was stereotypical? Or do you think his character depicted real life?

secret santa
Why has everyone singled out black people? Think of all the 'white' people who are given what can only be described as pure evil roles?! Andy Hunter, Dirty Den, Phil Mitchell etc, etc, etc... The list goes on and on and then one black person deals drugs because he's forced to and they make a big kafuffle over it. I'm sorry but get over it.

If a white person was dealing drugs in Walford, and that was his exit storyline, none of this would happen. We're too quick to complain if a black person gets a juicy, realistic storyline about drugs. It's true, not only black people deal, but some black people DO deal, just like white people. The real racism in this is too many people making a fuss about quite frankly, a piece of brilliant drama

theres only three young black characters in the square ones a street sweeper the other two have been or are drug dealers - doesn't that say enough? plus what is juli's accent about? are the writers seriously trying to represent real people or make a comedy sketch?

i think it is a tiny bit stereotypical. why did it have to be the black man that was introduced to the drugs? And why did it have to be the black man that snitched, thinking selfishly only about himself? why was it the black man that fled in fear of his life? if the scriptwriters can answer those questions with a well-thought out reasonable answer, we will know if its the viewers being racist or the script writers.

paul was bein put up to doin drugs, by andy, right? Paul wanted a way out - that is not being racist towards his character. In real life, its likely that both black and white people will deal drugs in the real world. Of course it is slightly stereotypical, but to describe the plot as 'racist' is ludacrous. People say that black people always play 'subordinate' roles, and here we are talking about the plot which the main focus is around Paul.

I think the eastenders prouducers are being fair to their black characters because didn't sonia's brother sweep the streets just like gus is doing? and their has been white actors who have done bad things so really I don't see what all the fuss is about. Half of the characters in eastenders have done something bad so I don't think there being racist at all.

Gary Beadle final storyline was both disappointing and stereotypical of how (some) people see black males. I think the real problem is that you have black actors on soaps and you have white people writing the storylines. I mean how would many of these writers know how black people are raised or what there family life is like??

Chris F
90% of the cast may be white, but it's the 10% ethnic minority who are the really negative characters. Andy may be the original gangster, but he is Paul's master and ruler (slave trade ring any bells any one?). Even Paul's brother, the 'positive black male', killed someone in a car accident - so he is hardly perfect.

Gangsta boo
I am a 16yr old black girl! an the shows today in my eyes are not showing how black, asian or any race really are! to be honest i think that they should have different people from all backgrounds dealing with the different families in tv shows! because how do the writers know what most other different races are like! GARY is right! why have they gone and changed his character! the script where paul had to choose between family and drugs that was just disgusting! because i feel that anyone would have chosen family! that just made me and my family feel sick the way that went! the script writers today need to fix themselves up because the younger generations are watching thier shows and they are going to start believing that how all races acts! most people say there olny shows but they are not! people believe these are how all people are! so they need 2 really start thinking about thier scripts! thats not just the bbc, ALL SHOWS! EACH AND EVERY ONE! that was from a teenagers point of view! i feel the best you could get!

I like the storyline. The reality of Paul's character made it uncomfortable viewing. I hate PC because it disguises what whites really think- Now we know -thanks to EE's. To introduce drugs into a storyline requires a visual indicator, or something negative which subconsciously equates to blackness. Paul is also mentally ill because he is racked with guilt;(images of white Jesus probably confuse him). Paul deserves a cell because: (a) Andy Hunter made him feel ashamed of the family business; (b) Being a "snitch" puts his family a risk; (c) Karma - as he supplied Janine with drugs. (d) Buying a BMW is too ostentatious if anything, he could have set up trust fund for foster sister's education.

Drug dealers can be Black/white or asian by showing that not all black people are good and neither are all white people I think eastenders is an interesting programme to watch. However I agree that people from all races should come up with the story lines, because this will make the programme more realistic and original. In situations like this, ignorant people come up with ludicrous suggestions. Gary Beadle has a right to disagree with his characters storyline, but i think you might be over reacting.

Wasn't Paul's brother a doctor? Surely that's a positive roll for a black male to be???? It's hardly as if 'paul' is the only character on Eastenders doing dodgy stuff, 90% of them being white... what's the problem?

I think in our society today we are trying to put racism behind us. But if eastenders are showing scenes with a black man being referred to using drugs and showing this in a criminal way, it sends a message to us that all black people are involved in some sort of crime. Stereotypical! If we want to unite with each other and have peace why should such scripts be written to proclaim diversity.

Miss J
Until they start employing black/asian people for scriptwriting/producing, these shows will b the same. Y I hear u ask? Beacuse most ppl behind the scenes for these show r white and their lookin in frm the outside. If they were black/asian they know about their ethnic origin, therefore it would be portrayed better.

I think the whole Trueman family are not very good representations of todays black community. Just like with the Farerras, the BBC have got it wrong again! Paul is right to speak up about his character, they could have just let him leave in the story line of his own back. They didnt have to turn him into a drug delaer who is about to be killed. It is a terrible thing when the BBC cannot come up with a more original story line. And totally one of the reasons I willnever pay for my licence!

I think they have got it seriously rong look at gus they made him first of all look thick and then a "uncle tom" then a streetsweeper. What are eastenders trying to say if you are black you can either work under a white drug baron as a dealer or sweep the streets with a dirty dog for company

Eastenders are making stereotypical scripts for black/asian actors. i mean look at the ferriers they had a bad script so everyone hated them and now Paul has been giving this situation that is not usually the case with black people. so i agree with Gary Beadles statement, he was rite to say wot he said.

It's only racist in so far as it conforms to the stereotypes of black people held by the average person who watches it. Gus and his brother Jules are more stereotypical than Paul though.

Rubbish. The fact that he is black doesnt mean that he should automatically be portrayed as a respectable guy with a mortgage, two kids and an audi just to be 'pc'. Are you saying that black people cant have law-breaking jobs on dramas because that would be racist? Utter rubbish. This is ridiculous and goes to show how obsessed this country has become with 'pc'.

Mike from LA
Hey Ricardo, I assure you brotha that Black men are making a change here too, don't assume all of Los Angeles is like a NWA/Ice Cube record. As far as Eastenders having non-positive storylines for its Black cast members, is anyone asking who the writers are? The actors merely speak the rubbish they've given.

Hmmmm, very stereo typical yep, I wouldn't go as far to call this racism but the bbc are notoriously ignorant when portraying cultures and minorities, remember when they went to Ireland. Eastenders isn't real at all and pranksters such as Andy, Phil and when Goldie was in it once are about as convincing as Vanilla Ice being a bad boy!! fix up Eastenders you're loosing it, do your research... perhaps come to East london!!

Gary dont worry we know its a soap and ur a good guy really!!

Nira G
Is this the best representation of black people that Eastenders can muster?Perhaps because the majority of idolised black rappers are glorifying crime it is hardly surprising that Eastenders are jumping on the bandwagon? Only Paul could not be mistaken as being 'cool' !!!

Christophe H
There is no doubt in my mind that, as a multicultural country, minorities are being badly represented. Eastenders seems to be going downhill, possibly because of it's outrageous story lines and blatant misrepresentation of certain ethnic groups.

Trini GAL
I tink they make black people look so Stupid, going on like all black people are drug dealers! Dat is a shame man. How some people portray black people differently? Wait....... look At Gus look wot job he doing, sweeping the road wot is dat. When people watch dat people think of black people only good for a few ting drugs no job no money. DAT IS DISGUSTING

Montwain Brown
I could'nt agree more. The story writer's for EastEnders need to take into consideration, why a middle aged black man would even try to sell drugs in a pre-dominately white enviroment where he is already stereotyped. The fact that he never sold drugs in the first place, says that he isn't smart to do so now, and it makes him as a black representive look stupid. And the fact there isn't many positive black characters, shows that Eastenders isn't interested in showing positive black characters, or even wrose. They probably think that's how black people really are. I have been finding this story very depressing and disappointing. Thank God that Gary has stood up and said something about it.

I believe that minorities are depicted in a heavily stereotypical fashion and Gary Beadle character Paul and Guss are hideous characters. One is simply stupid with NOTHING to say for himself and the other "lovable rougue" is a drug dealing thief! Great, so for what the majority race see through the BBC is confirmation that young black males have no self esteem to do something positive and end up in a situation where they are left to peddle drugs.....In LA maybe that is true, but in London there are many avenues where young black men like myself are trying to make a socially positive stance and do something for themselves so that they can earn some respect! Yet the BBC, a public service, offers these characters for black males to identify themselves with which i feel has let us all down, and they have done this for far too long! I'm paying my licence fee to have my race and others ridiculed because of a lack of research and consideration! The best thing the BBC has done is still 1Xtra!!!!!!!!!

I think that it is disapointing to see black people portrayed in this way on soaps as a lot of other people do but you have to ask the question if there were more black people in soaps would they all be represented in this way? i don't think so because you get white people being portrayed as drug dealers, gangsters etc. but because soaps are made up mainly of white people there are also many white characters with good qualities so i believe that this would be the same for black people if there were more in them. i think that its disapointing to see so few black actors in soaps especially in eastenders as der are more than a "few black people" in london. but thats just what i think.

i dont understand how something like this can be seen as racist. pauls doing the drug deals for andy, who is white, so is that a good representation of white people?! i do agree that gus and julie can be (at times) extreme but to suggest that black people 'always' play subordinate roles is ludacrus!!!

Hold up. Wasn't his brother a doctor? I don't watch Eastenders a lot so maybe I'm not best to comment, but aren't virtually all the characters in Eastenders disfunctional or stereotypical in some way? I do think there should be more black and asian characters though, simply because it should reflect the area it's set in. Also that way there will be variety in the characters and people won't hold a light up to every black character to see if there's something that offends them.

I absolutely agree! It is not just Eastenders that is guilty of reproducing stereotypes, other programmes including Childrens TV also do this. Television is such a powerful media that the people in charge have a duty to challenge these negative stereotypes not reproduce them. It is not only ethnic minority groups that this applies to but also women, lesbian and gays.

I think the BBC should think carefully about anything to do with story lines involving britans minority groups. There was a time when the world looked up to the views and opinions of the BBC, personally i think our license fees should go towards bringing more people like Greg Palast on air. Making people feel good about them selfs because they dont have it as bad as Cat Slater is a waste of money time and talent.

Defintely agree. Minorities are under represented in eastenders as it is. His character is a complete stereoptype, it does not reflect reality.

im white n think 4 a mixed race country there are not enough black actors on tele so there 4 their storylines r noticed. Get more black actors...

Thandiwe Dhliwayo
Gary Beadle is very right in saying so. His character Paul is stereotypical. Black people in british soaps are often pigeon holed into being criminals. It just reinforces prejudice! We can also ask ourselves are Gus and Julie a good reporesentaion? The answer is no. Why are blacks always put in subordinate roles is this being done deliberate? Ideologies are being transmitted that dent the reputation of the ethnic minority.

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