Emmerdale star Matthew Wolfenden has hit out at people who dismiss the soap’s underage grooming plot as a ‘schoolboy fantasy’.
Matthew’s character David Metcalfe is reeling after finding out his teenage son Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) was groomed by his schoolteacher Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein).
The actor revealed he had come across comments on social media from people who, disturbingly, are egging Jacob on.
He said on Monday’s Loose Women: ‘We had tweets as well from people saying, “Yeah, go on Jacob, this is every schoolboy’s fantasy.”
‘A lot of people still don’t think what happened is abuse and grooming because it is the other way round.
‘The man is always seen as an alpha male and because it’s an older woman, people think, “well he could have done something about it”.’
The soap also focused on making sure Maya’s grooming of Jacob was not played out in a ‘titillating’ way and praised co-star Louisa for committing to the role.
‘We didn’t want it in any way to be this kind of schoolboy fantasy of a young boy and an older teacher and in no way kind of titillating in any sense,’ Matthew explained.
‘We had to make it gross and we had to make it disturbing.
‘And Louisa Clein who played Maya, what a difficult job for an actress to come in for a year and a half, to know that they were going to have this story arc. She just threw herself into it.’
He went on: ‘We showed the manipulation. People were saying the story has been going on for a long time, but we needed to show the grooming process. It’s not just a quick thing.’
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