Emmerdale’s Maya sends Jacob into turmoil!
What started out as a teenage crush takes a dark turn this week in Emmerdale as Maya Stepney has young Jacob Gallagher in turmoil when she turns on him.
Teacher Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) has got poor Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) in a right state after recently kissing him and then forcing him to keep it quiet from his dad David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) – who just happens to be her boyfriend. But Jacob sees another side to his crush when she turns on him as Maya worries that the teenager has told someone about their lip lock!
It starts when Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) agrees to watch the shop whilst David and Maya rekindle their relationship, leaving a sulking Jacob stewing. David’s concerned about Jacob’s attitude and when Maya offers to talk to him, Jacob tells her he is jealous.
So instead of telling him that she’s not interested and keeping her distance from Jacob, Maya instead suggests to David that she could hang out with Jacob more, so he doesn’t feel left out.
When Jacob finds out, he’s on cloud nine and feels closer to her than ever before but the bubble is set to burst when later that week, Jacob confides in Ellis Grant (Asan N’Jie) about his problems ‘with an older girl.’
A concerned Ellis tells David about Jacob seeing an older girl so Maya’s anxious when she finds out what Jacob has done and angrily confronts him about confiding in Ellis. As she coldly tells him to leave her alone and keep quiet, Jacob’s left heartbroken and gutted once more.
Feeling down and more confused than ever, Jacob makes a decision that will leave Maya unsettled…
This controversial storyline has seen some negative comments and complaints from viewers but actress Louisa Clein, who plays Maya Stepney, has defended the plot.
Louisa said on Twitter: “This was an essential and extraordinary meeting. it is such an important story to tell, however uncomfortable the viewing may be. If it can help one person, then our job is done. There are many places to turn to if you have been affected by this storyline. #bernados #emmerdale.”
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan has also spoken out on the storyline. “We were really pleased to be approached by Emmerdale,” he began. “We advised on the serious subject of adult women grooming and abusing boys. Too often this is seen as ‘taboo’ and not talked about.
“Our specialist UK-wide services support thousands of children who have been sexually exploited by both men and women. And we help them to rebuild their lives. We also work with children at risk to help them stay safe.
“We know from research that outdated views still exist about boys who are groomed by adult women, but in reality it causes lasting harm. As well as problems with trust, affection, love and sex.”
Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw has also commented on how the charity’s advice will have an impact on the story.
“It was important for us to tell this storyline authentically,” she explained. “So we approached Barnardo’s for advice on scripts and character behaviour. Our researchers, story team- along with actors Louisa, Matthew and Joe Warren – met with Barnardo’s experts and young men who have been supported by the charity.”
See how the storyline unfolds on Emmerdale, every week night at 7pm on ITV.
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