Coronation Street fans have slammed its latest racism storyline as too ‘shocking’ to air before the watershed as Blake stabbed Alya in scenes aired on Wednesday.
Troubled teenager Blake arrived at an event to highlight Weatherfield’s refugee drop-in centre armed with a knife as he planned to attack event organiser Maria Connor.
But Alya Nazir jumped in the way after seeing Blake charging at Maria brandishing a knife and was stabbed before the teenager was wrestled to the ground.
Alya (Sair Khan) was rushed to hospital and Blake (Adam Little) then revealed it was teenager Max Turner’s (Paddy Bever) racist propaganda videos that inspired him to carry out the attack.
It was the latest twist in a storyline which saw Max radicalised by Griff Reynolds (Michael Condron), who used the teenager’s computer skills to spread his group’s racist propaganda before planting a bomb in Speed Daal’s van.
However, Corrie viewers were quick to take to Twitter to comment on the tense storyline, describing it as ‘shocking’ content for before the 9pm watershed on ITV.
One fan wrote: ‘Omg I think the way this storyline is being told is downright offensive.’
While another said: ‘Wow what’s happened to #coronationstreet disgusting airing this!’
A third tweeted: ‘Thank God that’s over, it’s getting worse,’ while a fourth added: ‘I’m disgusted at what you have shown on coronation street tonight before the watershed.’
‘You can literally hear my eyes rolling because of how ridiculous it is,’ a fifth penned.
Meanwhile, other viewers shared their sympathy for Alya as she has been involved in a lot of drama on the show in recent weeks, saving residents’ lives by driving Speed Daal’s van into a canal after a bomb was planted in it.
One person said: ‘That’s TWICE poor Alya has been hurt in the process of protecting people.’
Another wrote: ‘F**king hell Alya. They’re really using her as a punchbag these past few weeks!’
While a third gushed: ‘No one praises Alya enough. She’s literally the most selfless person on that street. Took the van with a bomb in to save everyone, then jumped in, and took the stab meant for Maria.’
Previously speaking of the storyline, producer Iain Macleod said: ‘We are exploring a very 21st Century problem: teenagers self-radicalising through watching extreme content online.
‘In the end, we wanted this to be a story about communication within families – what are the right and wrong ways to talk to younger family members who are gravitating towards extreme views?’
In Wednesday’s tense scenes, Blake was fuelled by hatred and decided to go to an event at Speed Daal, which was organised by local councillor Maria to highlight the Weatherfield refugee drop.
In a live stream, he revealed his intent to disrupt the event, saying: ‘It’s time to fight back, it’s time for somebody to do something that makes people sit up and notice.’
Max was seen smiling as he listened to Blake’s racist comments, before his father David Platt (Jack P. Shepherd) snatched his phone away from him.
David then asked Max to attend the drop-in centre, saying that he believes it will do Max ‘good’ to hear other people’s points of view, but the teenager describes it as a ‘waste of time’.
Blake then talked his way into Speed Daal and continued to live stream from inside the drop-in event, saying: ‘You better watch this, because I’m going to be all over the news tomorrow, and you’re going to see it live right now.’
Blake continued to film Maria addressing the crowds at the event, addressing Griff’s terror attack, which saw him plant a bomb in Speed Daal’s van.
After getting his phone back from David, Max tuned back into the live stream and saw Blake reveal a knife and immediately ran to Speed Daal to warn the guests.
However, Gary Windass (Mikey North) stopped Max from entering the event, grabbing him by the jumper and saying that people didn’t ‘want him here’.
Blake then pulled a knife out of his pocket with Daryan Zahawi (Twana Omer) shouting words of warning as the teenager ran at Maria brandishing the weapon.
Noticing what the teenager was doing, Alya bravely jumped directly in front of Blake and he stabbed her in the stomach.
As horrified guests fled out on to the street, Gary and Daryan wrestled Blake to the floor as he brandished the knife.
Blake was then escorted out of the drop-in centre in handcuffs when he told Max that he was his ‘inspiration’ for the attack.
Alya was then rushed to hospital for a life-saving operation, with doctors revealing she had punctured a lung in the attack.
In upcoming episodes later this week, Max is set to be arrested and will have to explain his involvement with the radicalised group to the police as he faces a lengthy jail sentence for incitement to commit murder.
It is the latest dramatic twist in a hard-hitting storyline which saw Max groomed and radicalised by older figures as he became more estranged from his own family.
The lonely and vulnerable teenager was targeted by a gang of extremists, ultimately putting his own life and that of his friends and family in danger.
When Max first came in contact with Griff, he was made to feel very isolated and was eventually asked to join the gang alongside his girlfriend Lauren.
Lauren’s extremist ideology also influenced him to become worse in his racist ways, with Alya even approaching Max with her concerns about his girlfriend’s views, but he defended her actions.
In one episode, Max also watched an alarming propaganda film which further encouraged him to go against Muslims.
After becoming more isolated, Max quickly fell under Griff’s spell, who then used the teenager’s computer skills to spread his group’s racist propaganda.
But after Max learned that Griff had planted a bomb in Speed Daal’s van, he told the residents and Alya managed to save dozens of lives by driving the van away from the street.
However, Coronation Street fans were left in shock with the tense storyline, which has been quite extreme in comparison to the usual soap dramas.
Some viewers slammed the ‘disgusting’ racism storyline, with Ofcom receiving 139 complaints about his radicalisation.
More Ofcom complaints were lodged when Max turned against a refugee from Iraq. The TV regulator said that there were 139 complaints which ‘related to the racial violence storyline’.
Producer Iain MacLeod said of the storyline when it begun: ‘Overall, Max’s story is one about the grooming of a vulnerable teenager at a point where he’s feeling most alienated and disenfranchised.
‘The story will encompass the ‘traditional’ recruitment techniques of extremists groups, and we’ll see Max befriended in person by older, mentor-like figures that will give him a sense of loyalty and brotherhood.’
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
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