Ofcom clears EastEnders rape story

Regulator Ofcom has cleared the BBC of breaching broadcasting rules with a controversial rape storyline in EastEnders which prompted a number of complaints.

More than 90 people wrote to Ofcom to voice concerns about the incident, screened in October, in which Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) was attacked by Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo).

There were also further complaints directly to the BBC about the scenes.

But Ofcom has cleared the edition of the BBC1 soap as the result of warnings given to viewers and its avoidance of graphic content.

A spokesman for the regulator said: “After carefully investigating complaints about this scene, Ofcom found the BBC took appropriate steps to limit offence to viewers.

“This included a warning before the episode and implying the assault, rather than depicting it.

“Ofcom also took into account the programme’s role in presenting sometimes challenging or distressing social issues.”

A peak audience of 7.3 million tuned in to the episode and the BBC defended it after the broadcast, citing the soap’s “rich history” of showing difficult storylines.

It said at the time: “We have been extremely mindful of the content within the episode and the timeslot in which it was shown, and at no point have there been any scenes of a graphic nature.

“In fact, the attack on Linda was implied and was not explicit.”

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