EastEnders’ Gurlaine Kaur Garcha was left in tears after being subjected to racist abuse


‘It made me feel angry, sad, and embarrassed’: EastEnders’ Gurlaine Kaur Garcha reveals she was left in tears after being subjected to a barrage of racist abuse

Gurlaine Kaur Garcha was left ‘angry, sad and embarassed’ after being subjected to a barrage of racist abuse.

The EastEnders actress, who plays Ash Panesar in the soap, admitted the shocking incident ‘came from nowhere’ and left her in tears and feeling ‘ashamed’ because she was unable to ‘brush off’ the unnamed woman’s tirade and simply forget about it.

Sharing a candid post to Instagram on Monday alongside an image with a ‘say no to racism’ caption, the star, 27, revealed: ‘Yesterday I was a victim to verbal racial abuse.

‘It made me feel angry, sad, and embarrassed’: EastEnders’ Gurlaine Kaur Garcha was left in tears after being subjected to a barrage of racist abuse on Monday (pictured on soap)

‘It came from nowhere, I wasn’t expecting it, and even though I know racism exists and I could always be victim to it, it was still deeply deeply shocking.

‘In a completely unprovoked attack, I was told by a woman to go back home, to return to wherever I’ve come from, and to stay there.

‘The initial shock was that someone was so comfortable to say this to me in public, not once but several times. it made me feel angry, sad, and embarrassed.

‘It upset me, and as a result of being upset I felt weak. I was ashamed that I wasn’t able to just brush it off and continue with my day as normal. Instead what followed were tears of sadness and frustration.

Candid: Gurlaine admitted the shocking incident 'came from nowhere' and left her feeling 'ashamed' because she was unable to 'brush off' the unnamed woman's tirade

Candid: Gurlaine admitted the shocking incident ‘came from nowhere’ and left her feeling ‘ashamed’ because she was unable to ‘brush off’ the unnamed woman’s tirade

‘How can someone be allowed to say something so racially driven and then walk away? Why do I then have to deal with all the feelings that come with it?

‘Why do I have to tell myself to stay calm and not to retaliate? And why do I have to be the one left crying? It seems so unfair that i am judged by the colour of skin. ‘

Gurlaine explained she was particularly upset because she knows racism will go on to exist for years to come.

Struggle: Sharing a candid post to Instagram on Monday alongside an image with a 'say no to racism' caption, she said: ''It upset me, and as a result of being upset I felt weak'

Struggle: Sharing a candid post to Instagram on Monday alongside an image with a ‘say no to racism’ caption, she said: ”It upset me, and as a result of being upset I felt weak’

She continued: ‘My thoughts and feelings of fear weren’t just about that moment, but about a future where my children, nieces and nephews will have to face the same discrimination and hate. My heart sinks that deep down I know this won’t be the last time I experience something like this.’

The 27-year-old star hadn’t planned to talk about what had happened to her but hopes that by speaking out, she can help others who are subjected to similar verbal attacks.

She added: ‘Initially I wasn’t going to say anything, but waking up this morning and feeling burdened with the same sadness from the day before, I realised that by speaking out it may help someone who has experienced the same, and make them realise they’re not alone.

‘When will racism end? I am proud to be British. I am proud that my grandparents were born in Punjab.

‘I am proud that my parents were born in Kenya. And I am proud to be Sikh. I celebrate all these things. I wish others did too.’

Gurlaine has played Ash in EastEnders since 2019, she was introduced as Iqra Ahmed’s bisexual Sikh girlfriend.

Role: Gurlaine has played Ash in EastEnders since 2019, she was introduced as Iqra Ahmed's (Priya Davdra,right) bisexual Sikh girlfriend

Role: Gurlaine has played Ash in EastEnders since 2019, she was introduced as Iqra Ahmed’s (Priya Davdra,right) bisexual Sikh girlfriend

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