The Ferreira family on EastEnders has come in for a fair amount of criticism recently from TV reviewers for the unbelievable storylines, but now the fictional Albert Square clan are facing stick from another quarter – the Asian community.
A new survey of 1,000 young British Asian professionals’ attitudes to the media included criticisms that the Ferreira characters, who were introduced to EastEnders in June last year, were poorly researched and had unrealistic storylines.
The five-strong Ferreira family, who are apparently from Goa in India, were the first new Asian family to move into Walford since Gita and Sanjay Kapoor left in 1998. Bollywood star Dalip Tahil plays father Dan Ferreira, who moved into Mark Fowler’s old house with his three sons – Ronnie, Ash and Adi – and daughter Kareena.
Ronnie’s childhood friend Tariq also soon turned up. But their arrival has not been welcomed by some of the young British Asians interviewed in June and July by online magazine Britainsasianassets.com.
“Shoot them all. None of them can act. They don’t look like a family. How do you get a Tariq, a Ronnie, a Kareena and an Ash in one family? And Ferreira, how does that add up? It’s lazy casting,” a female journalist in her 20s told the survey. “Tariq is a muslim name, Kareena is Hindu, Ash is a bit of a catch-all – it could be Muslim or Hindu – and Ronnie, where does that come from? Plus they have a Portugese surname, so why aren’t they Catholic,” said the barrister, Rehna Azim, who conducted the survey.
Storylines involving the Ferreiras since their arrival in Albert Square have included Dan abandoning his offspring, Tariq donating a kidney to Ronnie – after it emerged that he was actually a half-brother to the Ferreira kids – and the family having their house repossessed.