Over the last year, the British soap opera Hollyoaks has explored the growing threat of far right extremism in the U.K. through a gay character. Contrary to the previous stereotype of the white, straight, male, Ste Hay’s story exposes a new trend, which focuses on recruiting minorities.
The Channel 4 show has worked closely with the government’s Prevent program and ExitUK, which helps people involved in far right extremism get out, to spread awareness of the increase of the far right and how they recruit people like Ste. Their story begins with the loss of his half sister, who dies as the result of complications during emergency surgery. During the same period, Ste loses his job, his house and begins to drink heavily.
These factors, coupled with his belief that a Muslim doctor is responsible for his sister’s death, make Ste an easy target for two far right extremists.