Essiedu recently spoke about what a professor called racial slurs as part of an improvisation exercise. Michaela Coel and Papa Essidu received a formal apology from their shared alma mater Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
School addresses “horrendous” racism
The UK-based prestigious school addressed the “horrendous” racism the “I can destroy you” co-stars endured during their tenure. Essiedu recently reported how a teacher used racial slurs during a reform exercise. The professor played a prison officer looking for drugs among the prisoners portrayed by the students. Passing through responsibility like a hot potato, suppressing our laughs. I wonder what the other students thought of our collusion.
Essidu told The Guardian
“Suddenly he shouted: ‘Hey you, the N-word, what’s behind you? Essidu told The Guardian. “That was a real ‘time stops’ moment. It was like, definitely can’t happen. We were so shocked we just kept on improvisation, so we were like. There’s nothing behind us. We were shocked by what had happened and were surprised that it had come out of a teacher’s mouth.
An External report into Historical racism
Essiedu noted that he and Coyle were the only black students in the class. The “Men” star was later scolded by the same teacher, that he didn’t have a mouth “full of chocolate cake” and looked like it. Like his mouth was “full of chocolate cake”. That situation, in that skin, reflects a lack of respect and understanding of what one’s experience is at that institution. Historical racism includes an external report and an extensive and ongoing process of staff training and reflection.
Guildhall School has issued a Statement Addressing the Experience
Guildhall School has since issued a statement addressing the experience. Which said, “Guildhall School, Papa Essidu, Michaela Koel while studying at the school. Apologizes unconditionally for the racism, experienced by other alumni. The experiences they shared were appalling and unacceptable. We have since Acting within the program has long initiated a sustained program of action to address and end systemic racism.
The school Recognized its acting Curriculum as a “critical
The school also vowed to make a “significant redevelopment” of its acting curriculum, with a new emphasis on “inclusiveness, representation, and wellbeing,” including a departmental staff restructuring. Essiedu, who graduated from the Guildhall in 2012 and later returned in 2020. Direct students in Ruby Thomas’ play “Ether” claimed that the acting curriculum was designed primarily for white students.
‘Walk in the Space’ was done during improvisation
Coyle previously opened up about a similarly racially-charged experience during his 2018 McTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival. “I was called the N-word twice in drama school. The first was done by a teacher during a ‘Walk in the Space’ improvisation that had nothing to do with race. ‘Oi, the N-word, you gotta have me for what did you get?’ We students kept walking in space, two black boys and I looked at each other whenever we passed,” said the cuckoo. “’Who is she talking to?’ We’ll whisper. ‘Boy, not me.’ ‘No, that was for you.
Doing Restoration Comedy Like ‘Man of Mode’
“I remember doing restoration comedies like ‘Man of Mode’ about basically aristocrats – slave owners. These plays ask a very different question about a black or brown actor. Whose ancestry are those particular may be negatively affected by people who do not have the same historical context,” said Acedu. “It was like, oh, that person is doing it right and you ain’t doing it right. They narrowed it down to the idea that they’re doing it right because they’re better at acting than you while there are other things in the game.” There was a whole fleet.