Hit pay TV drama Wentworth has been hit by scandal, after actor Socratis Otto – who played ultra-popular transgender character Maxine Conway – sensationally alleged he’d been booted from the program due to transphobia.
Talking with Gogglebox fixtures Angie and Yvie on Twitter, the duo asked Socratis about his character’s shock departure from the show.
‘What! I'm so far behind on @Wentworth because I'm in London. Why are they getting rid of all the best characters @SocratisOtto?! #wentworth.’
Responding in surprisingly frank terms, the 42-year-old actor wrote, ‘birdie told me transphobe reared the ugly head.’
The allegation will come as quite a shock to fans, as Wentworth has been widely praised for its groundbreaking and inclusive treatment of lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters.
‘Wait what?! You're joking right?’ write Angie and Yvie. ‘I thought you were coming back only 4 episodes deep. So that's it for Maxie then?’
Wrote back Socratis: ‘that's it myLoves’
With fans responding with disbelief over the possibility that transphobia may have been a factor, Angie and Yvie wrote: ‘I feel the same. Everyday something disappoints me or breaks my heart. It's so hard to block out the hate.’
Apparently thinking better of his allegation, the actor then later appeared to backtrack, writing, ‘idk [I don’t know] the real story. was mentioned to me as likelihood but I give them more credit.’
Socratis has sung the show’s praises in the past, talking about how proud he has been to play Maxine.
‘It is a once in a lifetime thing to play this character, I truly believe that,’ the actor told Confidential. ‘Trans people have been silenced for so long.
‘They haven’t had a voice or representation on Australian TV. It boils down to education. We are all humans trying to connect in this world and some people have felt less alone because of this portrayal. It is breaking stereotypes.’
This article originally appeared on New Idea