Coronation Street fans have slammed its ‘disgusting’ racism storyline in which Griff Reynolds radicalises young Max Turner.
Max, played by Paddy Bever in the ITV soap, was gradually groomed and radicalized by Griff, played by Michael Condron.
But the story of the 16-year-old character was a ‘step too far’ for many viewers – after Ofcom received 139 complaints about his radicalisation.
Horrifying: Coronation Street fans hit out at ‘disgusting’ racism storyline in which Griff Reynolds radicalises young Max Turner
The extremist ideology of Max’s girlfriend Lauren also influenced him to become even worse in his racist actions.
In one episode, Max watched an alarming propaganda film that further encouraged him to go against Muslims.
After this, Lauren’s racist behavior came into question when Alya approached Max with concerns about it.
But he used information from the film to defend her actions.
Lonely and vulnerable Max, played by Paddy Bever, is targeted by a gang of extremists who end up putting his life and the lives of his friends and family at risk.
Groomer: Max, played by Paddy Bever in the ITV soap, was gradually groomed and radicalized by Griff, played by Michael Condron (pictured)
In an earlier episode on October 28, viewers saw Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) confront eco-activist Griff (Michael Condron) and his friends when he discovers that the band he was invited to play racist songs.
Toyah (Georgia Taylor) confronts Spider (Martin Hancock) about the company she runs, unaware that he is an undercover cop who has infiltrated the gang to expose their activities.
In next Monday’s episode (October 31), Griff turns his attention to troubled Max who has been the victim of persistent school bullies since losing his place at Weatherfield High.
Griff jumps in and threatens to teach the bullies a lesson and thus gain Max’s trust.
Story: Coronation Street to ‘highlight the issue of grooming for disenfranchised and impressionable young men’ in powerful storyline involving Max Turner
He invites Max to a Halloween party at his house, telling the rest of the gang that he might be useful to their cause.
In the coming months, as Max drifts further and further away from his family, the teenager falls under the spell of Griff, who uses Max’s video and computer skills to spread their racist propaganda.
When Max first came into contact with Griff, he felt very isolated – but eventually he was asked to join the group along with his girlfriend Lauren.
To ‘ensure his loyalty’, Lauren slept with Max, causing him to fall even deeper into shameful ways of thinking.
Fans were left in shock with the story line which is quite extreme compared to the usual soap operas.
Clash: Viewers recently saw Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) clash with eco-activist Griff (Michael Condron) and his friends when he discovered that the band he was invited to play racist songs
Some took to Twitter to complain that they were upset about it, with many complaining that they wouldn’t be watching Coronation Street again.
One wrote: ‘I can’t watch Corrie anymore.
‘I’ve been an avid fan for years, but Max’s radicalization is a step too far. I’m sorry. I’m out.’
Similarly, another said: ‘Sorry #Corrie I’m out. This Max’s story is not for me at all, Summer is indescribably boring and nothing else makes me want to watch it.’
Shocking: Max becomes increasingly estranged from his family, the teenager falls under the spell of Griff, who uses Max’s video and computer skills to spread their racist propaganda
Someone else said: ‘This story with Max is horrible.
‘I know it goes on, but it’s really awful! #corrie #coronationstreet.’
Another fan wrote directly to the character: ‘Max open your eyes and smell the coffee because Griff and Lauren are brainwashing you and grooming you.’
Coronation Street producer Iain MacLeod said of the story when it began: ‘Overall, Max’s story is about grooming a vulnerable teenager at a time when he feels alienated and disenfranchised.
‘The story will cover the ‘traditional’ recruitment techniques of extremist groups, and we will see Max personally befriend older mentor-like figures who will give him a sense of loyalty and brotherhood.
Disgust: Fans were left shocked with the storyline which is quite extreme compared to the usual soap operas
‘Then, later in the story, we’ll explore a very 21st century problem: teenagers self-radicalising themselves by watching extreme content on the internet.
‘Ultimately, we wanted this to be a story about communication within a family – what are the right and wrong ways to talk to younger family members who gravitate towards extreme views?’
Similarly, someone else said: ‘Max, you’re smarter than this… I was hoping.’
Written alongside a meme clip of a man saying: ‘I want this man gone’, someone else added: ‘I’m watching Griff get away with more and more crap and drag Max down with him.’
More Ofcom complaints were made when Max turned on the Iraqi refugee.
The TV regulator said 139 complaints ‘related to a story of racial violence’.
Source: | dailymail.co.uk