U.K.'s ITV Fires Soap Actor Over YouTube Raps With Violent Lyrics

Chris Fountain

Chris Fountain, who starred on the long-running series "Coronation Street," had made videos as masked alter-ego "The Phantom."

LONDON – U.K. broadcaster ITV has fired actor Chris Fountain from its long-running soap opera Coronation Street following a review into rap videos with violent lyrics that he had taped and posted on YouTube.

The videos have been taken down from the Google-owned online video network.

In one of his videos, the actor rapped about rape and violence as a mask-wearing, hooded alter-ego called "The Phantom."

Last week, ITV suspended the 25-year-old, pending a review. On Tuesday, ITV said: "Chris Fountain's contract with ITV has been terminated as a result of the unacceptable comments he made in a number of online clips."

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The announcement came after a meeting between Fountain and ITV programming executives on Monday.

The Guardian had reported that Fountain's rap lyrics included such lines as "I will f--- anybody up in the worst way, rape a bitch on her birthday" and "I'll stab you in the face with a diseased needle."

Women's groups, charities and others had condemned Fountain's videos.

In a statement last week, the actor had said that he was "deeply ashamed" of the material. "I would like to sincerely apologize for any offense I have caused," he added. "The videos were made over a year ago when I was experimenting with music, and I've not done anything like it since and nor will I."

Coronation Street, which has been on the air since 1960, focuses on the lives of the residents of a street in a fictional town. It wasn't immediately clear how the show would address the disappearance of Fountain's character, Tommy Duckworth.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai