Graeme Hawley has been attacked recently because of his on-screen character's affair with fictional schoolgirl Rosie Webster. The attack has left Graeme fearful of further attacks upon himself by the cerebrally challenged in society.
The character of John Stape is a controversial one because of his affair with a school girl whom he then went on to kidnap, however John Stape doesn't exist.
This is not the first time Graeme has had to contend with angry thick people.
In the past he has had his fair share of heated debates from members of the public who are so genetically challenged that they are unable to tell the difference between reality of day to day life with the fictional world of the soap opera Coronation Street.
Graeme feared going out drinking in pubs during the world cup in case he was blamed for any defeats by the England team.
For some time I have been concerned about the impact that soap operas have on the public psyche and this story goes to show that my concerns are not just the moanings of a miserable old snobby git.
Let's look at Eastenders for a moment.
If you have a main story line in a soap opera where a preacher lies and murders then what do you think that will do to the way the public perceives preachers?
It is more than apparent that the public cannot differentiate between the soaps and reality, if they could then people like Graeme Hawley would not have to endure the backlash to the 'story lines'.
The peasant who attacked Graeme is a prime example of how the public can react to the content of a script acted out by another man who lives an entirely different life to the one he is enacting.
This whole debacle proves two things:-
1. Some people really are very, very, very stupid
2. The makers of soap operas should be aware that what they create for broadcasting is much more powerful than just 'entertainment' but actually creates and reinforces the moulds for belief systems all depending on the nature of the content and the way it is presented/portrayed.
In other words soap operas can create and change moral values.
I wonder what the reaction would be if we had a murdering Imam on Albert Square?