A trans woman, who was asked to appear in the ITV soap Emmerdale as a transgender barmaid, has received an apology after her gender was made to be the source of ridicule.
The scene, which would have aired in early 2014, featured four female characters in a gay bar competing to get phone numbers from other women.
Actress Samantha Valentine – who played the barmaid – complained to ITV, accusing the show of transphobia.
The scene sees character Laurel, played by Charlotte Bellamy, getting a phone number from the barmaid. But Laurel’s friends and her boyfriend say it “doesn’t count.”
Marlon Dingle replies to Laurel: “That’s not fair, that’s a he, not a she.”
Creative director John Whiston has since apologised, describing the scene as “plain wrong”.
He said: “I wholly agree that including such unchallenged attitudes in Emmerdale is plain wrong. It is a huge disappointment to me and to the team that in this instance such unthinking and old-fashioned prejudice should have crept into the show in this way.
“Apparently it was added at a very late stage before filming when the show was in danger of under-running.
“It would no doubt have been picked up by myself, the producer or Compliance, when we viewed and approved the programme prior to transmission.
“But this would have been in early January, so it is really good you have brought it to our attention now and we’ve been able to take action at this earlier stage,” he added.