Adam Thomas – who plays Adam Barton in the ITV soap opera, Emmerdale – has apologised after being accused of verbally abusing a gay fan.
Pink Newsreports that the alleged incident took place in a Leeds branch of McDonald’s, after a 22-year-old student, Ricky Platts, approached the actor to say hello.
According to Platts, the actor’s response was to say, “Yeah, what about it, gay boy?”, before “hopping up and down like a madman” and “calling [me and] a friend, who was dressed in drag, ‘queers’”.
Referring to the character Thomas plays in the soap, Platts told the Sun: “I couldn’t believe that someone who is meant to be a role model would do something like that.”
For several months now, Emmerdale has been running a gay story line involving Aaron Livesy – played by Danny Miller, 18 – coming to terms with his sexuality. Thomas plays his best friend, who he shares a flat with and has been supportive of.
According to the Sun, Thomas, 23, has responded in a statement, saying: “I deeply apologise for my actions and am horrified to realise that I have caused offence.”
However, the Pink Paper says that “gay rights campaigners are calling for TV executives to take formal action against him”.
What's in a name?
Following a stint on the BBC drama, Waterloo Road (as Donte Charles), Thomas joined Emmerdale, as Adam Barton, in 2009. He is the younger brother of Ryan Thomas, 26, who plays Jason Grimshaw in another ITV soap, Coronation Street.
Miller first appeared in Emmerdale in 2003, returning in 2004 and 2006. His latest stint began in 2008, with the "coming-out" storyline beginning earlier this year. Marc Silcock, 21, plays his boyfriend, Jackson Walsh.
From 1972 to 1989, Emmerdale was known as Emmerdale Farm.