UK soap 'Eastenders' tackles antisemitism

Jewish character shocked to discover a swastika drawn on his mother's grave.

By
November 18, 2018 15:31
1 minute read.
EastEnders BBC show

EastEnders BBC show . (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)

 
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Eastenders, the long-running popular British soap opera, featured a storyline last week about antisemitic vandalism.
The show has been running on the BBC since 1985, and remains one of the most iconic and popular TV programs in the country.

On Thursday evening, the episode introduced a storyline that reflects an increasingly relevant topic in the UK: antisemitism.

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Toward the end of the episode, the character Harold Legg - a Jewish doctor played by the 92-year-old actor Leonard Fenton, who is also Jewish - visits his parents' gravestones. Legg has recently found out he is dying, and is planning his own burial arrangements.

He goes to visit his parents gravesite, carrying a small rock.


"This stone is my calling card," he tells his female companion, Dot Cotton. "We place them on the side of the grave."
But before he can place his rock, Legg cries out in shock as he approaches the gravestone, and sees it defaced with graffiti and a swastika. The storyline is expected to develop over the coming episodes of the show - which airs four times a week.

Legg is one of the original characters from Eastenders, created when it began airing 33 years ago. He officially retired in 1999, but has returned for several cameos since then. In July, BBC executives confirmed that Legg would return this fall, for an "exciting and emotional story." The character first reappeared on the show last month, his first cameo since 2007.

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