Kelle Bryan's son experienced racism aged 5

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 15 April 2021
Kelle Bryan

Kelle Bryan

'Hollyoaks' actress Kelle Bryan has revealed her son Regan experienced racism aged five years old, and she has since educated him about slavery and opened up to him about experiencing "a lot" of racism when she was growing up

Kelle Bryan had to teach her son about racism after he experienced it aged five.

The 'Hollyoaks' actress was saddened when her boy Regan, who is now nine, was told by another kid that he wasn't able to play with a toy "because he was brown".  

She said: "My son was told at five years old by another child that he couldn’t play with a toy because he was brown."

Kelle – who also has seven-year-old daughter Kayori – has since educated Regan about slavery, and opened up to her son about experiencing "a lot" of racism when she was growing up.

She said: "I educated Regan about slavery, I shared some of my experiences from my childhood and what I went through, I experienced a lot of racism growing up.

"I also took him to the slave museum in Liverpool. Now he handles things really well."

'Hollyoaks' aired a special unconscious bias episode on E4 last night (14.04.21), which captured an entire day from the perspective of Kelle's character Martine Deveraux – the black matriarch of the Deveraux family – and her love-rival Grace Black (Tamara Wall).

The ep followed the experiences of the two women that day, Martine’s struggles as a black woman filtered through in a range of encounters – highlighting microaggressions towards her – and viewers saw Grace’s alternative experience from a white woman’s shoes.

Kelle admitted the episode – which was written by Karla Marie Sweet – felt "absolutely real", which ignited her "pain and hatred for biases".

She added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I was infuriated. This was my everyday. I was connecting with the lines so much, it ignited in me the pain and the hatred for biases.

"All the black cast members said we wouldn’t do this unless it was absolutely real. We didn’t want to pretty anything up."

Kelle's 'Oaks' co-star Andrea Ali – who plays Martine’s daughter Celeste Faroe – believes the "powerful" episode will get people thinking and talking.

She recently said: "It was done in a way which was so raw and literally so accurate.

"I think it will cause people to stop and look at themselves, to look at the environments they’ve been in.

"I think people go, 'It’s either racist or it’s not.' But then there’s a space that sits between which are the microaggressions, which are the experiences of Black people as a whole feel."

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