NOUGHTS and Crosses author Malorie Blackman has hit back at online trolls who labelled her anti-white.
Her novel was turned into a six-part drama series on BBC, and tells the story of a parallel universe where black people are the ruling class.
The drama – which stars rapper Stormzy – was always guaranteed to spark debate, with some viewers accusing Blackman of "race-baiting".
Malorie was not interested in the criticism and took to Twitter to respond.
"Btw, to those accusing me of being anti-white or stating I must hate white people to create such a story as Noughts and Crosses, I'm not even going to dignify your absurd nonsense with a response," she wrote.
"Go take a seat waaaay over there in the cold, dark and bitter haters' corner."
The 57-year-old author wrote the book to raise awareness of racism in Britain.
She said at a recent event in London: "It was around the time of the Stephen Lawrence case and the way the Lawrence family were treated made me so angry."
Stephen was murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993 while waiting for a bus in London.
“I thought, ‘I want to write about racism. I want to write about slavery and the legacy of slavery and racism and so on’,” Malorie said.
Many were quick to support Malorie's statement including actor Jack Rowan who plays the lead character, Callum McGregor.
Jack retweeted Malorie, adding "You tell 'em!".
Malorie replied to Jack saying: "Jack, your aunty always tries to speak the truth, but with love!"
Twitter users who supported Malorie argued that "anti racism does not mean anti white".
"All these angry white people saying Noughts and Crosses is ‘anti–white’ need to see the bigger picture. There’s a reason Malorie Blackman wrote the book. For people to realise how real racism actually is, and for some this the only way they will realise it in," wrote on Twitter user.
Those who were not pleased with how white people were portrayed described the show as "tripe".
One person wrote: "#NoughtsAndCrosses is going to be a tiresome watch isn't it? Anti-white tripe they to make us feel somehow responsible for slavery when we had nothing to do with, and try to make us feel sorry for these fake victim race baiters who never experienced it. No."
Another wrote: "I had to turn that racist garbage off after 10 minutes… if that show was reversed they would pull the plug on it straight away."
Noughts and Crosses is set in a parallel 21st century Britain, which sees black people – Crosses – as the ruling race while white people – Noughts – are the underclass.
Racial segregation is rife in this version of Britain, despite the fact white slavery was abolished a number of years ago.
Despite all the challenges facing them, a love story develops between two lifelong friends from opposing races, Callum and Sephy who is the daughter of the British Home Secretary, played by Kamal Hadley.
The series has a high rating of 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so clearly the majority of viewers are lapping up the dystopian drama.
For The Sun Online's take, look no further than our official review.
Elsewhere, these are the key differences between the Noughts and Crosses books and TV show.
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