Raki Ayola gives the best answer to the question of wakefulness. (BBC)

Actor Reiki Aiola has dismissed speculation that her new show’s focus on a black family is “woke.”

Ayola promoted her show pact, in which she plays the matriarch of the Black family BBC Breakfast when presenter Victoria Fritz suggested that some might see the cast as “a woke version of a Welsh family”.

The Cardiff-born actor gave a masterful response, dismissing the assumption that the black family automatically “woke up”.

“If anyone wants to tell me what I would say first, explain what you mean by awakening and then we can talk,” she began.

She continued: “If you can’t explain it, don’t use a word you can’t describe because you don’t know what you mean.

“Or maybe you know exactly what you mean and are afraid to say what you mean, so let’s talk. Don’t even be afraid, don’t dare.”

Explaining why the family can’t be considered ‘woke’, she added: ‘I’m going to introduce you to a family so you say they don’t exist when they clearly do?

“You mean they are forbidden to exist, what do you mean? Let’s talk properly.

“Don’t throw your words around unless you’re afraid to say exactly what you mean. If you don’t know, please shut up because you’re incredibly boring.”

The term “woke” was coined by black Americans, and its original meaning was awareness of important social and structural problems such as racism.

But wake has been co-opted, largely by the mainstream, as a pejorative to strike at representation and inclusion.

Comedians such as Ricky Gervase and Dave Chappelle used “wake” to defend their anti-transgender jokes, and in politics British politicians Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman and Penny Mordant all used the term to oppose trans-inclusive politics.

The term also comes up as an accusation when we see a diverse cast, such as when period dramas like Bridgerton or fantasy like House of the Dragon dare to include people of color. Or if there is an alien with two hearts on our screen, not a man.

Right-wing critics asked why the show The Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Power woke up – in fact, they ask why it includes black people.

Ayola’s purported takedown of wake misuse has been praised on social media, with one person saying: “This should be a response to every commentator, journalist and MP who has become too comfortable using the term ‘woke’ in every one of their dog-whistle opinions.”

Another one added: “One of the best rebuttals to using the word “woke” as a pejorative I’ve ever seen. Here is a Welsh actress Ayola rivers calls out the racism behind the use of the term in suppressing progressive art and ideas in our culture.

Many criticized Victoria Fritz’s line of questioning

Zak Polanski, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, tweeted: “When will the BBC admit that quoting racist tropes and asking a question at the end is not balanced?”

Raki Ayola posted a message on Twitter after the video of the exchange went viral.

“Apologies are not needed or needed” she wrote, “believe me, if I felt differently, you would know. Maybe this question, but I have to say what I said on national television [husband] Adam Smethurst for several months. I’m glad it touched a soul.”

Ayola is back Pact in the second season in an entirely new role as Christine Reese, the matriarch of a family with three children, Megan Reese (Mali-Ann Reese), Will Reese (Lloyd Everitt) and Jamie Reese (Aaron Anthony).

This season, her recently deceased son’s doppelgänger, Connor (Jordan Wilkes), begins haunting the family, claiming to be a long-lost child.

The show has previously been heavily featured with LGBTQ+ characters, people from various ethnic backgrounds, and a central theme around sexism and misogyny in society.

Pact season two airs every Monday on BBC One or watch all episodes on BBC iPlayer.