Dreaming Whilst Black star says avoiding racism in show would be 'injustice'

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Dreaming Whilst Black star claims avoiding everyday racism in show would be
Dreaming Whilst Black star claims avoiding everyday racism in show would be 'injustice' (Image: BBC/Big Deal Films)

Dreaming Whilst Black co-writer and actor Adjani Salmon has defended scenes of racism in his BBC series, as he said avoiding depictions of everyday racism in the show would be “an injustice”.

The BBC series follows Salmon’s character Kwabena, who is an aspiring filmmaker trapped in a recruitment job in London. The series explores his day-to-day struggles of being an independent creative as he struggles to navigate between his dreams and reality.

Salmon said he was driven to create the web series turned TV show out of a sense of "frustration" with the film industry, having found it difficult to find work when he finished film school.

Dreaming Whilst Black star says avoiding racism in show would be 'injustice' eideziqkeiqhhinvAdjani Salmon as Kwabena in Dreaming Whilst Black (BBC/Big Deal Films)

In the nine-part comedy series, viewers watch as Kwabena navigates a workplace that is predominately white, which often leads to colleagues asking inappropriate questions. One co-worker asks Kwabena if he should watch The Colour Purple on his first date with a black girl.

Speaking on the show’s portrayal of everyday racism, Salmon said: "I very much look at it from the perspective of, we’re making a show about a character who is black and it just so happens that he operates in a predominately white industry. It’s like, 'well, if you’re black in this industry, things might happen?'

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Dreaming Whilst Black star says avoiding racism in show would be 'injustice'Adjani Salmon has defended including scenes of everyday racism in the BBC series (BBC/Big Deal Films)

"I think it would be more an injustice to avoid it than to show it, because to show it would be true to this character’s experience and to not show it would be like you’re hiding. So, we kind of come at it from a space of just authenticity to the character … versus we’re going to highlight this one thing."

Salmon said he thinks exploring racism through the medium of comedy can make it more digestible for viewers as "medicine is best served with honey". He said: "I think anything that you’re talking about is probably best disguised in art … I don’t like when people are preaching, but I like stories.

Dreaming Whilst Black star says avoiding racism in show would be 'injustice'The BBC series Dreaming Whilst Black shows a young black aspiring filmmaker struggling to get his foot in the door (BBC/Big Deal Films/Anup Bhatt)

"If you package what you’re saying to me in a story then I’m more receptive to receiving it and I think that’s the same for everybody, especially in today’s climate."

Dreaming Whilst Black was originally a web series co-written by Salmon and Ali Hughes.

Actors Dani Moseley, Demmy Ladipo, Isy Suttie, Roger Griffiths and Rachel Adedeji are among the cast members, with Love Island star Ovie Soko and Shaun Of The Dead actor Jessica Hynes making guest appearances.

The series is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Niamh Spence

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