"I cannot take those words back. Stupid, stupid, stupid."
Coronation Street star Marc Anwar has been sacked by ITV after tweeting racist comments. The Pakistani-born actor is no longer returning to the show, after using offensive language referring to Indian people.
The tweet branded Indians as: ‘b*****ds’ and ‘p**s drinking c**ts’ and led ITV to promptly sack him within hours.
In a statement, ITV responded: “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.”
In another tweet, he said: “Why the F***k do #pakistaniartists want work in #f*** face #india, do you love money so much.”
60-year old, Marc Anwar, who also reportedly campaigns against hate crime, has since apologised for his actions and claims his words were a ‘knee jerk reaction’ after watching reports on conflicts in Kashmir.
Appearing on BBC Asian Network, Anwar repeatedly apologised and acknowledged his mistake of sending the tweets. But still felt he had a point when it came to Kashmir and Pakistan.
He expanded on this statement by explaining how his anger is towards Pakistan and their government.
He said: “Why do they need to bow down to India, they are a country in their own right. Why do artists need to work in India, when they are not wanted.”
He stated how a video of a boy getting shot in the eye had hurt him, and apologised: “I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone that I may have offended with my tweets on Friday evening and especially people from India.
“I feel I have targeted my language at Indian people. I vented my anger.
The language that I used, I sincerely apologise for. But my feelings were very sincere for the people of Kashmir. And I hope that everyone that I have offended can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”
Anwar’s whose grandparents themselves were Indian, expanded: “It was not intended at the people of India. It was targeted at the two countries.”
The actor’s frustration is a reaction to international conflict and Anwar says he now understands that as a public figure and a role model, there is a certain way to campaign against certain matters.
He said: “I cannot take those words back. Stupid, stupid, stupid.”
Those who have reacted believe blaming and targeting a whole group and nation was incorrect, as well as the use of harsh expletives.
The vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community said: “I understand the frustration but it doesn’t justify the kind of language he’s used and blaming all Indians.
“It is one thing to campaign and another to say these kind of things on Twitter.
“But he is a public figure and he’s gone about this in the wrong way.”
The fact that Anwar is a public figure has a big impact. The actor could have highlighted the situation in a less controversial manner.
Speaking to The Mirror Online, Fiyaz Mughal, the director of the Faith Matters charity, said: “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.”
The Coronation Street actor had been acting as a part of an Asian family for two years. Now, many Corrie fans are glad the actor has been sacked for his racist comments.
Some had said: ‘racists aren’t welcome’ and ‘Disgusting comments and Corrie did the right thing in sacking him.’
Many Asians who are regular viewers Coronation Street, who are of an Indian background, have been upset with his tweets and feel it reflects his deeper character and what he really feels.
Whether the actor’s apology is sincere is unknown, but he does claim some of his close friends are Indians and people he has worked with in the past.
Marc Anwar claims he did not know how to use Twitter properly but accepted his actions and said:
“I have upset a lot of people, my friends and family. I’m not a bigot, not a coward and not a liar. I’m definitely not a racist.”
Police have now been informed about Marc Anwar’s racism and a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said they have “launched an investigation and inquiries are ongoing” after receiving a report of hate crime.