Ofcom rules on Coronation Street David Platt rape storyline after 200 complaints

The ITV soap has been cleared following viewer concern

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Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has cleared Coronation Street after 200 complaints about its current male rape storyline featuring David Platt. A spokesperson for Ofcom said today: “This storyline tackled a sensitive and challenging subject, which we appreciate was uncomfortable viewing for some.

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“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.”

The ruling follows an Ofcom verdict in March that found Coronation Street not in breach despite 541 viewers registering concern about intense scenes featuring soap villain Pat Phelan.

Coronation Street producer Kate Oates revealed last week that rapist Josh Tucker will not be imprisoned following his rape of Weatherfield favourite David Platt.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, the show boss said: “I believe that, in this instance, David’s perpetrator wouldn’t be convicted. I’m not afraid of controversy – it’s more important to reflect the truth. If you tie things up with a bow, there’s a danger people will just think, ‘we don’t need to talk about this anymore. It’s done.’

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“The ending will surprise people. David will get catharsis and some acknowledgement, but he might not get that legally. In soap, a lot of the justice comes from the community – Phil Collinson [Corrie producer from 2010 to 2013] called it the court of Coronation Street and I completely get that.”

Oates also revealed that her decision to not put Josh on trial partly came from a conversation she’d had with barrister Robert Rinder aka TV’s Judge Rinder:

“I hope he doesn’t mind me name dropping here but I’m really good friends with Robert Rinder and he spoke to me about how David would be cross-examined on the stand – it would be hard, brutal and intimate.

“Rob is a massive supporter of the storyline and he did make me think about how things would be spun in a courtroom. There are a lot of things that we wouldn’t have been able to show on screen at that time in the evening.”

Recent crime statistics revealed that only one in every 14 rapes reported in England and Wales ends in conviction. When asked recently whether Corrie should reflect reality and keep Josh on the Street, actor Jack P Shepherd told RadioTimes.com:

“It’s a tricky one – Corrie has always been morally correct and the bad guy always gets caught. But that isn’t always the case in real life. At the moment, David’s actions are letting Josh remain free.

“David has left it so long to say something that this might have an impact on whether a prosecution is possible. Plus he got rid of the clothes he was wearing.

“What I can say is that the story does continue right through the summer and we will show the effects on both David and those around him once they do find out. Shona will be particularly determined to get justice.”

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