SMALL Axe viewers were left "swearing at their screens" by the "shameful and sickening" police brutality during the Notting Hill protest scenes.
The series – created by Oscar-winner Steve McQueen – follows four real life tales and one fictional from London's Caribbean community between the late 1960s and early 1980s.
The first feature-length episode, Mangrove, follows the community surrounding a restaurant in Notting Hill of the same name.
It became so famous in the immigrant community of West London that Bob Marley was known to drop by when in town.
Also, it was where Darcus Howe (Malachi Kirby) and British Black Panther leader Altheia Jones-LeCointe (Letitia Wright) held meetings and wrote pamphlets – making it a target for the police.
After relentless police raids during the 70s, Notting Hill residents rose up in protest – and were subsequently arrested.
However, the portrayal of the real life police brutality created an emotional reaction among the audience – with many "swearing at their screens."
One person wrote: "I can’t stop uttering the word c*** at all the racist ignorant awful people throughout this magnificent episode of #SmallAxe. Furious. This should be on the curriculum. But it may cause a rash of appalling language…."
Another added: "The scenes of police officers harassing them constantly is giving me a headache and making my blood boil, how frustrating & debilitating is it to be at the mercy of the police and having no one to protect you from them because they’re all part of the same racist system #SmallAxe"
A third remarked: "Watching back #SmallAxe again is reminding me how far we have come, but how far we still need to go. Not only in equality in British society, but in all of us accepting we all have discriminated against someone in life for some reason. All cultures are guilty."
The series isn't just leaving viewers infuriated – with actor John Boyega revealing that filming the racist abuse scenes left him so furious he can't remember filming them.
The Star Wars actor described filming the new series as like undergoing “therapy”.
Boyega, 28, plays real-life police officer Leroy Logan in the third episode of the series titled “Red, White and Blue”.
Leroy in real life, who was an anti-racism reformer in the 1980s, who served as a member of the police force for 30 years.
He endeavoured to change racial attitudes and eradicate racism from the force, after his father was brutalised at the hands of two former policemen.
Boyega told Radio Times doesn't remember filming the scene where Leroy finds racist graffiti in his locker.
"I don't remember filming that scene, I just remember fuming and being angry.
"I didn’t see the locker room or the locker door until those cameras were rolling. So that reaction was all natural to the character and the choices I thought he would make."
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