Coronation Street's brutal hate crime storyline has sparked 136 Ofcom complaints.
The complaints arose after the episode depicting the vicious attack aired on Wednesday, May 5.
The vicious attack saw youngsters Nina Lucas (Mollie Gallagher) and her boyfriend Seb Franklin (Harry Visinoni) get brutally attacked at the hands of a gang led by Corey Brent (Maximus Evans).
Nina was initially slapped by Kelly Neelan (Millie Gibson), after she was egged on by the rest of the gang.
The couple were attempting to escape down a canal path when the gang caught up to them and began the brutal assault.
Seb had managed to leave a worried voicemail on his mum Abi's (Sally Carman) phone.
But there was nothing anyone could do to save him when he couldn't breathe on his own in hospital after failing brain stem tests, and he died on Friday night as mum Abi broke down and fell to her knees.
The tragic storyline was written in collaboration with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which was established after the real-life murder of Sophie in 2007.
On August 11, 2007, she and her boyfriend Robert were assaulted by a group of youths while walking through Stubbylee Park in Rossendale.
The thugs initially attacked Robert and when he lost consciousness, Sophie – a gap-year student from Lancashire – was cradling his head on her lap.
The aggressors then launched a brutal attack on her.
The pair received serious head injuries and their faces left swollen and bruised.
Sophie's mum Sylvia set up the charity to educate people about hate crimes after her daughter was killed for being a Goth.
She hopes the storyline will encourage more people to report hate crimes so the foundation can continue to work as effectively as possible.
But some fans feared it was too much, and took to social media to air their concerns.
One wrote: "Ah yes this is why I don't watch it anymore."
While another added: "So horrible."
"Dreading this storyline," penned another.
But plenty more fans praised Corrie writers for raising awareness, and praised the actors for their on-screen talent.
"Really impactful storyline which has, thus far, been very well written and played. This has played a great role in showing the devastation of hate crime. Well done all," someone typed.
Another viewer posted: "Thanks for highlighting an incredible story and highlighting small minded little shits who don't accept people we think are different. We are all different but are all the same! We all deserve respect!"
After she was given the news that Seb had died by her uncle Roy Cropper (David Neilson), Nina broke down in tears, blaming herself for not being able to remember much of the attack.
She did, however, remember Corey's presence – but her ex Asha lied for him and said he was with her at the time of the attack.
However, she later refused to lie to the police for him and the truth that she was with Amy at the time came out, with fans praising Asha for her 'bravery'.
Speaking about the storyline, Coronation Street producer Ian MacLeod said: "I really hope that what we put on screen does justice to Sylvia’s own story. I hope it does cause people to sit back and think about how they might make snap judgements about someone based purely on secondary characteristics.
"It’s the human being that matters, not what they might look like," he added.
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He explained that he brought the character of Nina in "specifically" to tackle the brutal storyline.
"As far back as the introduction of Nina, we knew the direction this was going to take and with the death of Roy’s mother some years ago now, it all led up to the point where we brought Nina in – specifically with a view to embedding her in the show and getting people to fall in love with her, as they understand her relationships with everyone on the Street and especially with Roy.
"We’ve embedded her as deeply in the show as we possibly could," Iain continued, "with a view to doing this story with her, and at a point where it would be really powerful – a character we’ve fallen in love with over a number of years being in the middle of something so heartbreaking and tragic and visceral."
- Coronation Street
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