U.K.'s ITV Suspends Soap Actor, Cites Violent YouTube Raps
Chris Fountain, who stars on "Coronation Street," posted videos as masked alter-ego The Phantom.
LONDON - U.K. broadcaster ITV has suspended actor Chris Fountain from its long-running soap opera Coronation Street after it emerged that he had posted raps with violent lyrics on YouTube.
The videos have been taken down from the Google-owned online video network.
In one of his videos, the 25-year-old rapped about rape and violence as a mask-wearing, hooded alter-ego called "The Phantom."
An ITV spokeswoman said the suspension would be in effect while the network investigates the issue in more detail. "ITV find both the language used and the views expressed in this video totally unacceptable," she said.
The Guardian said Fountain's rap lyrics included such lines as "I will fuck anybody up in the worst way, rape a bitch on her birthday" and "I'll stab you in the face with a diseased needle."
In a statement provided by ITV, the actor said that he was "deeply ashamed" of the material.
"I would like to sincerely apologize for any offense I have caused," he said. "I am deeply ashamed by the lyrics and very much regret my behavior. 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 first aired in 1960. The show focuses on the lives of the residents of a street in a fictional town.