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Friday 6th December 2019

Emmerdale's Matthew Wolfenden reveals some viewers' horrifyingly sexist reaction to Maya grooming plot

Some don't think it's grooming at all

As Emmerdale fans await the outcome of Maya Stepney's trial this week, Matthew Wolfenden has revealed the awful reaction some viewers have had to the plot.

Speaking on today's Loose Women (Monday June 17) Matthew explained that they've had messages from people who don't think what Maya's doing is abuse because Jacob is a male.

Matthew has told how viewers reacted to the grooming storyline (Credit: ITV)

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He told panellists Andrea McLean, Coleen Nolan, Brenda Edwards and Jane Moore: "We had tweets saying 'yeah, go on Jacob, this is every schoolboy's fantasy'.

"A lot of people still don't think what happened is abuse and grooming because the men are always seen as the alpha male, whether he's 15 or not.

"Because it's an older woman they think 'well he could have done something about it, this isn't grooming, this isn't sexual abuse'.

"But you spin it on its head the other way round with an older man and a young girl and there'd be uproar."

A lot of people still don't think what happened is abuse and grooming.

Matthew said some people thought it wasn't abuse because Jacob's male (Credit: ITV)

He also told how some people couldn't watch the storyline: "There were a lot people who said they hated the storyline and they couldn't watch it.

"That's exactly what we wanted to do. We didn't want it to be the schoolboy fantasy of young boy and older teacher.

"We needed to make sure it was in no way titilating, we had to make it gross and disturbing."

On screen this week, Maya finally goes on trial for grooming Matthew's character David Metcalfe's stepson Jacob Gallagher.

David seeks therapy after Jacob's ordeal (Credit: ITV)

David will be seen going to therapy to deal with everything that's happened.

And Maya is plotting to make sure she gets off, but will be seen seducing Jacob again before her trial begins.

Infatuated Jacob will rescue her from some girls taunting her in the street and she tells him to get in the car with her.

Maya seeks comfort in Jacob before going to court (Credit: ITV)

As they drive off and stop on a roadside, Maya's facade crumbles and she seeks comfort in Jacob, kissing him.

In real life, things are much happier for Matthew and his wife Charley Webb, who are awaiting the arrival of baby number three.

And Matthew also revealed on Loose Women he's convinced he knows what gender their little one will be.

The couple already have two sons - Buster, nine, and Bowie, three, and while the actor said he and his wife don't know what their third child will be he's got an inkling it's another boy.

The couple are expecting their third child (Credit:

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Matthew said: "We've got one on the way, and we don't know if it's a boy or girl."

When asked if he'd like a girl, Matthew replied that although as he already has two boys a girl would be amazing "it's the old cliché, as long as they're healthy."

He then went on to reveal: "I come from a long line of boys, and there's four Wolfenden cousins and we've got seven grandchildren, they're all boys. It's not looking likely, but who knows?"

The actor also said Charley's still suffering with pregnancy sickness: "This one's been particularly brutal," he explained. "She's been ill from the get-go and it's not relented at all.

"But she does enjoy giving birth. She's been sick since we found out and we've got six weeks or so to go."

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