Emmerdale star reveals Matty’s ‘real shock’ at established character’s transphobic abuse

Matty speaks to Moira at Butlers in Emmerdale
Matty’s in for a hellish few months (Picture: ITV)

In Emmerdale, Matty Barton (Ash Palmisciano) is about to go through a horrifying experience when he accidentally stabs Samson Dingle (Sam Hall).

With Samson and his new buddy Josh’s arrival, Matty’s shift at The Hide takes a nasty turn.

Samson chooses to go to The Hide with Josh to celebrate passing his driving test.

Samson shows there, but he doesn’t see Josh’s attraction to Amy (Natalie Ann Jamieson) or the knowledge that his buddy has discovered Matty is transsexual.

Uncomfortable with Josh’s flirtation, Amy leaves to return home, leaving an enraged Matty to confront Josh about his actions.

An enraged Josh begins to dead-name Matty outside of HOP and returns inside to discipline him.

The interaction between Josh and Matty turns into a terrible one as Samson follows along, with Josh threatening to take money out of the till from the good-hearted Matty. As the confrontation becomes more intense, Josh pushes Samson into Matty, shocking Matty and stabbing the teenager with the dagger Matty was carrying.

Josh changes the story and accuses Matty of approaching them with the knife as Samson is bleeding out.

Actor Ash Palmisciano spoke to us about Matty’s new plot and how his character feels when Samson begins to echo Josh’s transphobic remarks.

Josh pushes Samson into Matty, which results in Samson being stabbed. (Image: ITV)

“To Matty’s surprise and shock, Samson is actually supporting it. Samson is only distantly related to him through family, and Samson is allowing Josh to intimidate and belittle him. It even reaches the point where Matty wonders if Samson is genuinely afraid of Josh.” Is he complying because Josh is pressuring him to do so?

From lighthearted joking to really ripping on Matty, it creates a little commotion in the Hop. He begins addressing him as “she” and uttering phrases like “I know who you are, I know what you are.” Furthermore, he makes it very evident that he is aware of Matty and is not at all pleased with him. Several remarks, some uncomfortable glares, and some name-calling put Matty on edge right now.

Ash thought, “We haven’t seen him struggle too much in the village.”

Matty says Josh is transphobic. (Image: ITV)

He is surrounded by wonderful family and friends, but a person like this would likely be representative of someone he has encountered before, i.e., someone with a more pessimistic viewpoint; as we discussed with regard to Claudette and the wedding plot, not everyone is receptive to this. Upon hearing these comments and being referred to as “she,” Matty recognises right away that there is an issue between them.

Ash described how his character finds himself in a “fight or flight situation” just before Matty stabs Samson.

He stated, “Josh actually picks up a glass bottle and hands one to Samson. They start putting Matty in danger and getting in his face in an attempt to take the cash out of the till.”

Matty is left alone himself with Samson and Josh. (Image: ITV)

They threaten to inflict him serious harm if Matty doesn’t give them the money, they say to him in barely audible terms. Matty is unsure about how to respond to this predicament, which is very much a fight-or-flight scenario. He makes an attempt to win Samson over by saying, “Look, we are family—what are you doing?” This is not something you should be doing. He really makes another attempt to send them away.

After that, there’s a little struggle and disagreement. As soon as Samson leaves, Matty instructs him to go. He then goes about his business, getting his knife and fork from the plate he was cleaning before they came, turning to face them, and Josh shoves Samson right into Matty. They are kind of hugging at first, so you’re not really sure what’s occurred. However, when Samson pulls away, they find that Samson has really been wounded by the dagger Matty was carrying.

Ash is eager to continue the plot in the aftermath as Matty and Samson’s fates are now uncertain:

“I find it to be quite fascinating.” that’s something we haven’t seen much of, and that applies to everyone—transgender or not—that sometimes you get into circumstances where people are plain rude. Depending on whether that’s a result of who you are or simply who they are as a person. So it was absolutely amazing to demonstrate how frightened Matty may become in such a setting.

“It is also very topical; not everyone is very accepting, and it’s great that Matty has that support,” he said. It’s beautiful to say; we recently saw the wedding, which was a thrilling, happy occasion. On TV, everything seemed really amazing. However, there are instances when we must highlight the negative aspects of it, such as how it may turn out badly and be really harsh for someone like Matty. It provides a broad overview of what it means to be him.

“I was ecstatic, and it’s wonderful that we can reflect that and share that tale.”

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