Kieron Richardson quits Twitter over Hollyoaks far-right storyline backlash

Kieron Richardson quits Twitter over Hollyoaks far-right storyline backlash

Kieron Richardson has quit Twitter due to backlash over his ‘Hollyoaks’ far-right storyline.
The actor’s alter ego Ste Hay has been radicalised in recent months by Jonny Baxter (Ray Quinn) as part of a "very controversial" storyline, and he admitted the criticisms even had an impact on his performances as he took the comments to heart.
Kieron told the Daily Star Online: "It is so hard to watch and it is very controversial but it has to be like that as that is real life.
"I deleted my Twitter because people were hating on me and I was then trying to water down my performance as I didn’t want to offend people, but that is the wrong way to do it.
"I just got rid of it and now I go in every day and I do it to the best of my ability."
Cruel online trolls have even been targeting the soap star’s young twins, and he has had to block users who have commented on his parenting skills based on his character’s actions.
He added: "People are attacking me personally. I don’t want to get into spats with people on Instagram so anything to do with my kids – because people were writing horrible things on the pictures of my kids and saying am I being a bad parent – I block them.
"It is a job and it has nothing to do with that."
The soap team has been collaborating with a number of expert advisors and charities for the storyline, which looks in depth into the problem of radicalisation into far-right extremism.
Despite the backlash on social media, Kieron is glad to be part of such a significant plot, and he explained there has been some very positive feedback too.
He said: "The positive messages are off the Muslim community who are saying: ‘Thank you for doing this and being our voice’. I hope people realise why we are doing it and hopefully people will get educated."