Belfast Telegraph

Hollywood actor 'disgusted' after racist character used on 'This is Ulster' banner

Stephen Graham (Ian West/PA)
Stephen Graham (Ian West/PA)

By James Gant

A Hollywood actor said he was “truly disturbed and disgusted” when a character he played was superimposed on to a Unionist banner next to a poppy.

Stephen Graham (45) was shocked to learn that his This is England role as Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne had been used next to the caption “This is Ulster, we wear the poppy here”.

Replying to Twitter user @MTimonez, who alerted him to the image on Wednesday, Mr Graham said: “Thank for letting me know mate- truly disturbed and disgusted by it! Gonna put something on twitter now about it!”

He later told his 84,000 followers: “I am aware that some individuals are using my image of a fictional character I played to represent their political views. I would like it to be known that these views are the exact opposite of everything I stand for and believe in!

“It sickens me and saddens me that we are still fighting against racism and blatant hatred for human beings.”

He wrote: “Teach the triple truth to all: a generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger” Buddha.”

The picture was posted on Twitter and Facebook by suspended Cllr Jolene Bunting - but was later removed.

Ms Bunting was suspended for four months in September as Court DEA for the Greater Shankill area while investigations into 14 complaints made against her are conducted.

She did not reply to requests for comment.

Jolene Bunting posted the image on her Facebook and Twitter accounts before deleting it.

Combo first appeared in the 2006 film This is England and was in eight episodes of the spin off television series This is England ’83, '86, '88, and '90.

The character was part of the “original skinhead subculture” of 1969, voiced racist political views and joined the National Front movement.

He has a shaved head and tattoos across his body - including a cross between his eyebrows and dice on his cheek.

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