Wednesday 18 July 2018

Dramatic Emmerdale acid attack scene prompts 228 complaints

ITV said the storyline was thoroughly researched and adhered to NHS guidelines.

Emmerdale actor Michael Parr was at the centre of the acid attack storyline (ITV/PA
Emmerdale actor Michael Parr was at the centre of the acid attack storyline (ITV/PA

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

An episode of Emmerdale which included an acid attack has sparked more than 200 complaints to media regulator Ofcom.

Thursday’s instalment of the ITV soap saw Ross Barton left with a disfigured face after having acid thrown at him by drug dealer Simon McManus.

The TV watchdog said that it has received 228 complaints from viewers.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We are assessing these complaints under our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.”

Ross, played by Michael Parr, was the accidental victim of the acid attack, as he had been mistaken for Joe Tate by Simon in the dramatic scene.

Simon (Liam Ainsworth) had been ordered to throw acid at Joe (Ned Porteous) at the request of Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb), who had paid him to do so as part of a revenge plot.

After Simon threw the acid, viewers saw Ross’s face become scarred.

Emmerdale had warned before the scene that viewer discretion was advised.

An Emmerdale spokeswoman said: “Emmerdale has a long track record of tackling difficult and topical storylines and the unprovoked acid attack upon Ross is another example of this.

“We take our responsibility seriously when portraying what happens in these circumstances. Consequently, the storyline was researched thoroughly with medical experts at Pinderfields Hospital.

“For the sequence following Ross’s attack we adhered carefully to the NHS guidelines about how to help people who are the victim of an acid attack.

“We also specifically researched this story with one particular victim who felt it important to share what happened to him with the Emmerdale production team.”

A number of viewers took to Twitter as it aired to share their thoughts, with one writing: “Bit strong for 7pm is it not? Surely that shouldn’t be on before the watershed? An acid attack, really?”

They added: “I feel physically sick. @emmerdale @ITV #Emmerdale.”

Another wrote: “I think people’s reactions to the acid attack in #Emmerdale tonight just proves a huge point about how we view these things.

“As much as you don’t want to see it, sadly, it happens, & I think it’s good that they’ve addressed it & are bringing attention to a growing violence trend.”

The controversial storyline has been in the works for some time, with Parr confirming several months ago that an acid attack would be taking place.

Parr recently told Digital Spy: “It’s a big responsibility and one that I was very nervous about taking on. I know it’s a reality for some people and it’s so important to get it right and do the story justice.

“The Emmerdale team have done extensive research and we really want to raise awareness of the devastating consequences an attack like this has on a person’s life.”

Press Association

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