Viewers of Emmerdale have expressed their horror and discomfort at the soap’s current storyline, in which bully Arthur Thomas has been terrorising young Archie Breckle.
On Wednesday (December 11), fans of the soap described how they found the plot “stomach turning” and “uncomfortable” as Arthur’s behaviour became more threatening and sinister.
The episode began with Archie missing from his bed, and Jai, Manpreet and Rishi Sharma all sick with worry about his whereabouts.
My stomach turns every time that poor wee boy gets tormented.
Viewers knew that Archie had run away from home after a campaign of abuse by Arthur, who had told him nobody wanted him around – and had planted the seed that he go and hide in the woods.
As Jai and Rishi frantically looked for Archie, they encountered Arthur and his mum Laurel.
When Arthur heard Archie was missing, he looked shocked and even offered to help find him, but Laurel told him to head on to school and she would go and help Jai.
However, Laurel later received a phone call from the school saying that Arthur had also gone missing.
In a sick twist, Arthur hadn’t gone to save Archie, but rather to hurl more abuse at him.
Although he did take a chocolate bar for the younger schoolboy, he told Archie everything had been a joke and Archie was “too stupid” to get it.
Meanwhile, Jai had told the police that Archie may have run away because Jimmy hurt him – prompting them to call him in for questioning.
Arthur eventually took the young boy home, telling him he must now do exactly as he says, leaving viewers scared for the boy and sickened by Arthur’s actions.
One wrote: “As a mum I am really not liking this storyline. I know it goes on in the world but my stomach turns every[time] that poor wee boy gets tormented.”
As a mum I am really now liking this story line. I know it goes on in the world but my stomach turns everyone that poor wee boy gets tormented
— Jackie mclellan (@jackster197039) December 11, 2019
Feeling very uncomfortable watching at the minute with Arthur bullying Archie end this horrible storyline
— Adele Tammie Thomson (@Tinymummy0310) December 10, 2019
Aww Archie is so cute ❤️ Used to like Arthur but he’s a nasty lad 😕 Hope he gets found out soon, uncomfortable to watch😳
— Roonie (@Rebecca99320130) December 12, 2019
This Arthur/Archie storyline is making me so angry. Great acting from ‘Arthur’ who’s doing a great job of playing the bully. When you feel this uncomfortable watching TV you know it’s being done well! #Emmerdale
— Kim Draper (@KimVDraper) December 11, 2019
Another said: “Poor child. It’s horrible watching him go through the torture of Arthur’s bullying. Hope this storyline ends soon.”
A third wrote: “Not a fan of this story. It’s very uncomfortable to watch Arthur being so horrible.”
“I love Emmerdale but this storyline has upset me… It just goes to show how cruel some kids can be – it’s sad. I hope it resolves itself soon!” added one more.
Back in September, Archie was brought back to Emmerdale village after the sudden death of his mum Rachel.
Dan brought Archie to live with his dad Jai, who is in a relationship with Arthur’s mum, Laurel.
For the first few weeks, Archie didn’t speak a word until Arthur managed to coax him out of his shell.
However Arthur soon became jealous of the attention Archie was receiving and began bullying and tormenting him.
When Archie ran off during a memorial picnic for Arthur’s dad Ashley, the schoolboy got annoyed and back at the house, he punched Archie and knocked him unconscious.
While the plot has left many viewers upset, the reassuring news is that child actors Alfie Clarke and Kai Assi are “best buddies” in real life.
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