The producers behind Coronation Street have been met with criticism from viewers for killing off lesbian character Rana Habeeb, hours before her marriage to fiancé Kate Connor on Wednesday night’s episode.
The tragic scene featured Rana trapped beneath factory rubble following a roof collapse, after letting herself in to reclaim her bag. Immobilised among the wreckage, Rana mustered up the strength to call Kate and exchange wedding vows, before she slipped away.
Incensed fans accused Corrie of joining the long list of media publications who employ the homophobic cliché known as: ‘Bury Your Gays’ which views LGBT+ characters as significantly more expendable than their heteronormative counterparts and favours the ‘shock twist’ over promoting visibility and inclusion.
In their 2018 Where We Are On TV Report, GLAAD announced that out of all the characters expected to feature on scripted TV programming, 8.8% of them identified as LGBT+, the highest in 14 years.
This increased LGBT+ representation in media of characters which includes characters like Rana Habeeb has been celebrated in the community and killing her off in a sudden, brutal fashion has sparked disappointment in fans:
Yet another LGBT character killed off. Yet another WOC killed off. When are you going to learn that there are other ways to tell a story?
You build up these characters & their relationship. You give the community hope. This is baiting & Bury Your Gays. It’s 2019. Stop.#Corrie
— (The Other) Dani (@DaniJaneCox) March 20, 2019
Why doesn't #Corrie do something really different & let a same sex couple marry, live happily together for years, have children? Why do they always have to kill them?!
— 'Take me to the hole!' ?? (@KazP19) March 20, 2019
Bhavna Limbachia however, has stated that upon deciding to leave the show, she requested for her character, Rana to be killed off: “…it was my decision and my choice for Rana to die because it was the only fitting end to the character…”
Bhavna claimed that the only way in which Rana could leave the show and preserve the integrity of her relationship with Kate was to die a sudden death: “The only way to go was if Rana were to die. Rana would never leave Kate, ever.”
Although she didn’t comment on the ‘Bury Your Gays’ accusations, Bhavna maintained that she was proud to identify as an ally: “…I felt it was important to educate myself about the LGBT+ community and that has changed me as a person.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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