Interview: Ed Learns The Truth
James is building up to tell Ed about his sexuality, but how will his dad react? Trevor Michael Georges hints at what's to come...
Why does James feel he can’t be honest with his father about his sexuality?
Ed may have made a passing comment before, for example a mild innuendo or a double entendre, he would call it innocent banter but for a gay person that would be very damaging.
Ed has always felt it didn’t matter to anyone in the room because he has been unaware of James’s sexuality but there is a problematic side to those conversations and that’s where the pressure cooker starts to build up real tension. James feels he does not want to upset his father.
Tell us about the moment James tells Ed about his sexuality.
It’s a difficult scene because everyone is waiting for the penny to drop. The tension becomes so high that James eventually blurts it out and there is a moment of silence and then a moment of shock.
What goes through Ed’s head at this moment?
He is totally blindsided. Ed’s immediate reaction is that he is hurt and shocked that he doesn’t know his own family. He transfers the initial shock in to, how dare you think I was going to overreact? How dare you think that there is a problem telling me? He feels betrayed by the people he loves and would die for.
The betrayal is expanded further when he discovers the love interest of his own son is someone he knows and he has a difficult time trying to process this on his own.
What consequence does Ed’s reaction have?
Everyone is talking to each other except him and because he is new to the area, he has no one to talk it through with so that leads to a dynamic where he is constantly coming out with things that he hasn’t processed properly yet and is quite clumsy in what he says. He says things out loud that are wrong and unfortunately he is saying it to people that are equally nervous about what he thinks and feels. Some damage is done by what he says off the cuff.
What is Ed’s view on James’s sexuality?
He is old fashioned to the point that he is blinkered. He is a political dinosaur and he is living in the past and he says he knows he is wrong and he has the strength to say he is trying to work it through.
He has to go further into himself and be honest with himself, there are aspects on very simple terms that are wrong.
How does Ed’s perspective affect James?
The logic in Ed’s head is from his own perspective of dealing with racism as a young man. Ed feels as a black man he couldn’t hide his colour but his son can hide his sexuality, so from Ed’s point of view he advises his son to keep quiet. Everyone reads this as another form of homophobia.
Why is it important for Coronation Street to tackle the issue of homophobia?
Because this issue is still something that affects people. Ed’s opinions and comments will resonate with people and hopefully may make people think. It is well publicised that life for gay footballers is not easy but it’s important to raise awareness of homophobia both on and off the pitch.
I recall working at a factory decades ago and everyone would have their different views but the minute someone said, “Did you see Corrie last night?”, it was like this ceasefire. Coronation Street provides a talking point and reaching out to people on such a scale is a very profound feeling.