Police 'hate crime' probe after Corrie sacks Marc Anwar over Twitter comments


Comments that sacked Coronation Street actor Marc Anwar made about Indian people are being investigated by police.

The Pakistan-born actor, who played Sharif Nazir, was axed from the ITV soap after bosses were alerted to his Twitter comments.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "On Sunday 25th September 2016, police received a report of a hate crime.

"Police have launched an investigation and inquiries are ongoing."

Marc Anwar (Ian West/PA)

The Sunday Mirror published screenshots of messages posted on Anwar's private Twitter account that appeared to hit out at India over Kashmir and referred to Indian people as "bastards" and "piss-drinking c***s".

The news comes after Anwar apologised for using "unacceptable" language, and said his "rant" was a "moment of madness".

Anwar, who joined the soap in February 2014 as a member of the first Muslim family on the cobbles, issued a video apology, hoping that people "forgive me".

He added: "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.

"This was never my intention and the language was unacceptable. I feel that I have let a lot of people down, my family, my friends and my former colleagues."

"This I... very sincerely apologise for."

He continued: "On Friday evening I saw, on the news, children being pulled out of rubble, people being pelted with pellets, women mourning their dead in Kashmir.

"This upset me very deeply and in a moment of madness I ranted out. I vented my anger.

"Again, 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."

He later denied he apologised in an attempt to save his career and called his comments "stupid, stupid, stupid".

Anwar told the BBC's Asian Network it would have been "easy" to say his Twitter account had been hacked when he was asked about his comments by Coronation Street staff.

He added: "I'm not a bigot, not a coward and not a liar. I'm definitely not a racist."

Anwar refused to say whether he would return to Coronation Street if he was allowed back, and said of his future: "If work doesn't come my way I won't starve".

He added: "I am absolutely disgusted with myself and unreservedly, without any hesitation, apologise to anybody and everybody that has been affected."

An ITV spokeswoman previously said: "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."

Soap bosses are expected to do everything they can to minimise Anwar's presence in the show until his character can be written out.

Anwar has appeared in Hollywood films such as Captain Phillips and The 51st State.