Marc Anwar has been axed from Coronation Street ‘with immediate effect’ after ITV chiefs were alerted to numerous racist tweets he’d posted.
The Pakistan-born actor’s time as Sharif Nazir on the cobbles has come to an abrupt end after he, among other offensive comments, described Indians as “b*****ds” and “p**s-drinking c**ts” in a string of astonishing tweets.
Anwar, 60, later removed the most offensive of the postings from his now locked Twitter profile on Friday evening (23 September), according to the Sunday Mirror who alerted ITV bosses to his rant.
“We are deeply shocked by the entirely unacceptable, racially offensive comments made on Twitter by Marc Anwar.
“We have talked to Marc and, as a consequence of his comments, he will not be returning to Coronation Street with immediate effect.” – ITV
Anwar’s rant comes just days after 17 soldiers were killed at an army base in Kashmir and sparked a UN clash between India and Pakistan.
He is alleged to have written “F***ing #indians killing our #Kashmir brothers and sisters, beygairth #NawazSharif still sucking #modi Lul!” in one tweet while another read “Why the F***k do #pakistaniartists want work in #f*** face #india, do you love money so much.”
Fiyaz Mughal, director of the charity Faith Matters, condemned his comments, noting in a statement:
“It’s unacceptable for anyone today to put material online that targets a segment of a population. You can’t just blame a whole group of people for a conflict.
“Marc needs to reflect, and in a way retract what he said, and understand you can’t go online and add fuel to the fire. I can empathise with the anger and feel nothing is moving, but the best way to relieve that anger is to work with your political leaders.
“If you’re on Coronation Street, you’re in a powerful position, you have huge influence on social media. If the reverse happened and it was said Pakistanis are bad, he wouldn’t like it. It’s ludicrous and those comments don’t work one way or the other.”
Anwar made his first appearance in Coronation Street in February 2014 with Sharif dropping by Weatherfield to see his son Kal (Jimi Mistry). He later moved to the area with wife Yasmeen (Shelley King) and their grandchildren Zeedan (Qasim Akhtar) and Alya (Sair Khan), forming the show’s first Muslim family.
Sharif’s storylines have included the death of his son Kal and the recent reveal that he’s been having an affair for the past seven years with family friend Sonia (Sudha Bhuchar).