EastEnders star Jake Wood has revealed how he has been abused for being ginger his entire life.
The Max Branning actor opened up about the devastating effect anti-ginger abuse has on people, likening it to racism, homophobia and sexism.
“I’ve had absolutely horrific abuse over the years, the whole gamut of abuse,” he said to The Sun. “Every swear word you can imagine, words that have to be asterisked out.
“It’s a subject that’s laughed about and dismissed, but I’ve had people reach out to me and explain how badly bullied they have been and how they have been suicidal, people dyeing their hair to try and fit in. It’s heartbreaking.”
He added: “When you break it down, bullying and discrimination is a very real thing.”
Jake is keen to raise awareness of the discrimination and put a stop to it.
He said that this “is a subject I am passionate about, and want to start speaking publicly about”.
The actor, who revealed a new look with a big bushy beard earlier this week, will soon leave the BBC soap.
He finished filming his role as Max Branning and the character will leave on screen in the coming weeks.
EastEnders exit for Jake Wood
Meanwhile, Jake’s EastEnders co-star Lacey Turner has paid tribute to her pal as he prepares to leave the soap.
Lacey has played Max’s on-off lover Stacey for 15 years.
Writing on Instagram, she said: “@MrJakeWood Thank you for some of the best memories over the past 15 years!
“It was an honour to watch the master at work!
“I will miss you my friend. Until I see you again [peace] out.”
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