'Normal People' star Paul Mescal really wants everyone to know he's Irish, and why that's important

Iana Murray
Thursday 30 July 2020 10:30
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(Getty)

Paul Mescal is many things: a talented actor, the internet’s boyfriend, wearer of chains and O’Neill shorts. Just don’t call him British.

It’s been a big week for Mescal after he received his first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his performance in the BBC’s acclaimed adaptation of Normal People. While he celebrated his nomination on social media, he also shared a more direct tweet which simply stated: “I’m Irish.”

Sadly, Mescal wasn’t making a Bend It Like Beckham reference, but was presumably responding to the various UK publications and people that have labelled the actor as British.

The error prompted backlash from many who called out the ignorance or oversight of referring to him as British.

Mescal wasn’t the only actor listed under the wrong nationality.

Irish actors Andrew Scott and Fiona Shaw (who were nominated for Black Mirror and Killing Eve, respectively), were also mistakenly referred to as British by UK publications.

And it’s also far from the first time that this has happened: Irish actor Saoirse Ronan has also been victim of the same error in the past.

The fact that this misprint frequently happens highlights the ignorance that the British tend to have towards Ireland’s independence.

It can be seen as representing the subconscious belief that Ireland will never be accepted as an independent nation.

Additionally, this mindset could also be considered indicative of the legacy of Britain’s colonisation of Ireland that attempted to eradicate Irishness and the distinctions between the islands.

A case of mistaken nationality might appear as an innocent error at first glance, but when this has persisted for years, it alludes to a much larger and more pervasive issue beneath the surface.

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