EastEnders viewers complain over Whitney Comic Relief scenes: OMG! Get a grip!

It’s emerged today that viewers have – yet again – complained about one of the show’s storylines. And after reading what the viewers said, and how the BBC has responded, please do scroll down to read my rant…

Because I am soooooo sick of the small minded people who must spend half their lives on the phone to the corporation or composing letters.

Anyway, this time, the complaints are about the plotline that features Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) becoming a prostitute after being ‘groomed’ by Rob (Jody Latham).

Specifically, the complaints are that part of Whitney’s story was aired during the Comic Relief telethon, and that as it was aired at 7pm, it was “inappropriate for a family audience”.

A BBC spokeswoman told The Sun, “We appreciate the episode was challenging so we ensured that the audience was aware of the storyline through advanced publicity and on air before transmission.

“We’re mindful of the time slot in which EastEnders was shown and ensured scenes were appropriate to the audience who may have been watching.”

And an official statement from the BBC reads, “The EastEnders audience would have been aware of the dark situation Whitney was getting into.

“In the preceding episodes viewers saw Whitney feeling increasingly unwanted and unloved, with her brother and her step-mother absent, her life was taking a downward spiral.

“Alone and unhappy, she fell for the charms of an unscrupulous man, Rob, who began to manipulate her and ultimately exploit her sexually for his own financial gain.

“We have been working with experts and charities funded by Comic Relief in order to research this story – which explores a growing problem facing many young women in the UK today – and to ensure it was told accurately and sensitively.

“It was a natural progression of Whitney’s story thus far and we felt it was an important story to tell, and hopefully to raise awareness of amongst our audience.

“In doing so, we believe it was right to show the – albeit unpleasant – reality of the situation faced by these girls, rather than put a gloss on it.

“In the episode Whitney is seen to escape and to raise the alarm – we did not leave the audience on a cliffhanger.

“The menace and danger Whitney is in whilst clear is implied rather than graphic or sensationalised and is in keeping with the audience expectations of how EastEnders would tackle a tough story in a pre-watershed manner and indeed how Whitney’s story has evolved over the last few years.

“We are conscious that Red Nose Day programming includes many different tones and themes, ranging from light comedy sketches to difficult and emotional appeal films, all of which played out around the time the EastEnders episode was scheduled to transmit.”

The statement then confirmed that prior to showing the scenes, presenter Davina McCall pointed out that Whitney was in “real trouble” and that the “tone and content” of the episode was “clearly sign-posted to viewers”.

The statement continues, “We hope that the majority of the audience would have heard the first extended warning and that the serious tone of the introduction, though truncated, pointed to the fact that the upcoming film was a gear change.

“It was further put into context by the presenters at the end of the piece, when they talked about the Comic Relief-funded charities working to help girls like Whitney.”

I was astounded to read about this issue. What the hell is wrong with people??

Do these viewers not have an ‘Off’ button on their TV sets? And are their children so swayed by soap plotlines they’re out there, as we speak, hunting out pimps of their own??

I’m so sick of a few anally retentive whiners picking up on every storyline that might be described as “controversial” on EastEnders and moaning about it, when all they need to do is CHANGE THE PIGGIN’ CHANNEL!

Nobody’s forcing them to watch so at the first hint that there was a scene coming up that may affect viewers’ sensitivities, they should have just turned over or off…

And I find it quite telling that these viewers are presumably happy to have had their kids watch scenes in which babies were dying in African hospitals – a real life tragedy – but feel compelled to ring or write in to complain about a soap storyline??

To those who complained, I have this to say: Get a life, get a grip and get a hobby other than checking Ofcom is still on speed dial.

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