Monday 24 June 2019

Ofcom rejects complaints about Coronation Street male rape storyline

The soap sparked controversy with Josh Tucker’s date rape of David Platt.

Jack P Shepherd plays David Platt (Ian West/PA)
Jack P Shepherd plays David Platt (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has rejected complaints about Coronation Street’s male rape storyline.

More than 200 viewers complained about two episodes of the ITV soap featuring Josh Tucker’s date rape of David Platt and the aftermath.

Platt, played by Jack P Shepherd, has been struggling with mental health issues since he was drugged and raped by Tucker (Ryan Clayton).

An Ofcom spokeswoman said the watchdog had carried out an assessment but would not be investigating.

The spokeswoman said: “This storyline tackled a sensitive and challenging subject, which we appreciate was uncomfortable viewing for some.

Coronation Street (Dave Thompson/PA)

“However, we considered that ITV took extensive steps to ensure it was handled sensitively and carefully.

“These included working closely with a victim support group, and repeatedly signposting the help available to anyone affected by sexual violence.

“We also considered that, although the offender’s violent intentions were clearly implied, the scenes were neither explicit nor graphic. Finally, we took into account that clear warnings were broadcast before both episodes.”

Ofcom also announced that it had launched an investigation into ITV soap Emmerdale.

Viewers complained about scenes containing sexual themes around the storyline of Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) being paid as a sex worker.

Emmerdale actress Amy Walsh (Ian West/PA)

One scene saw Tracy blackmailed for sex and handcuffing another character to a bed, at which point he called her a bitch.

Later episodes contain language such as “lying whore” and “prozzie bitch”.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We are investigating whether this programme broke our rules on sexual material and offensive language being shown before the watershed.”

Ofcom also received complaints about two scenes of confrontation between two couples on The Only Way Is Essex, on ITVBe.

It said that, after an initial assessment, it would not be investigating, adding that the scenes were “likely to be consistent with the audience’s expectations of this long-running, post-watershed scripted reality series, which often features turbulent relationships and heated exchanges between couples”.

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