Over the past few weeks, Coronation Street has featured a storyline about hate crime. The characters of Nina and Seb were attacked, purely because of how they looked and Seb tragically lost his life. The character of Kelly has now been arrested for murder, whilst Corey (who was the true person behind the attack) is walking free.
Powerful scenes have already been broadcast and the storyline is set to run throughout 2021 and beyond. Corrie’s younger cast members have really come into their own throughout this storyline, by portraying the storyline with compassion and realism.
Coronation Street’s position
On the importance of tackling this storyline Coronation Street Producer Iain MacLeod said: “This incredibly hard-hitting storyline, which centres on a senseless act of violence, will draw in characters from all corners of our narrative universe and will, we hope, leave the audience with a clear message: Everyone, regardless of how they look, how they dress or any aspect of how they live their life, should be treated with tolerance and respect.
“The story will run across the rest of the year and beyond, with many twists and turns, and will be heartbreaking and dramatic in equal measure. In the end, the story will see an optimistic outcome emerge from the traumatic attack.”
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation
The topic has been handled sensitively and Coronation Street has worked closely with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to ensure that they produced the scenes with sensitivity and accuracy.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up in 2009, as a legacy to a young woman who was murdered for being different. She and her boyfriend were creative, artistic people who dressed in their own unique way. They were attacked by a gang of five boys in a park in Bacup, Lancashire on 11 August 2007.
Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE, Chief Executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, said:”I know first-hand the abuse, harassment and violence that alternative people suffer. Hate crime is usually directed at already stigmatised and minority groups and Sophie was assaulted three times before that final, sustained and brutal attack that took her life – but she never reported the earlier assaults.
“Coronation Street covering this issue means such a huge amount to me. We want alternative people to know that they shouldn’t be putting up with this prejudice and intolerance, and they should report it. We want the wider community to really appreciate the horror of this violence and understand that difference in itself, is not frightening, it just makes us all who we are. We will also use this platform to continue raising awareness of Sophie’s case with the police and judiciary to make sure that hate crime against alternative people is recognised and treated with the degree of severity that it deserves.”