EastEnders star Riley Carter Millington slams soap for cutting off trans storyline

Meka Beresford July 22, 2017
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Eastenders star Riley Carter Millington has slammed the soap for cutting off the storyline of his transgender character.

Millington, who played Kyle Slater on the soap, has criticised the creators of the popular BBC show for not expanding on the trans character after his gender identity was revealed.

Millington made history as the first trans actor to play a trans character in a TV soap.

Speaking to the Sun, Millington explained that he felt his character was thrown away as he left the square to do a catering course in France.

Slater was one of many characters who were booted from the show when Sean O’Connor took over as executive producer.

Millington explained: “I was disappointed it was not shown that Kyle had a normal life.

“He had the big coming-out story and it was dramatic and emotional, but we didn’t get to see a happy ending, like a relationship of any sort other than the reunion with his half-sister, Stacey. It was frustrating.”

He added that as an actor he felt like he had left fans from the LGBT community down.

“I felt I let myself and the fans down as I could have pushed for something.

“It’s a shame to have gay characters and then you have to say goodbye,” he added.

O’Connor has since left Eastenders but has also been criticised by another actor, Danny-Boy Hatchard, who was axed from the show that Hatchard felt lacked “detail”.

The soap was barraged with transphobic abuse when the character was launched, with one newspaper reporting it with the headline ‘It’s a gender-bender EastEnder!’.

However, Millington praised the show’s fans for the ‘overwhelmingly positive’ reception he received at the time.

Millington previously discussed coming and the struggles he faced when coming out to his parents as trans.

“I tried to drop hints by playing Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy from my bedroom,” he told the Radio Times magazine.

“Then I was in a clothes shop with my mum and was buying a man’s t-shirt and I just decided to come out with it then and there.”

Millington said his family have been “very supportive” during his transition, a process he described as “slow and frustrating”.

More: EastEnders, Riley Carter Millington, storyline, Trans, Transgender

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