'Shocking' Emmerdale acid attack scenes spark 228 Ofcom complaints

Aimée Grant Cumberbatch
Controversial: Adam Parr as Ross Barton in Emmerdale: ITV

Controversial scenes of an acid attack in the most recent episode of Emmerdale have sparked 228 complaints to Ofcom.

The broadcasting watchdog commented: “We would assess any complaints under our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.”

Thursday’s double-bill of the soap saw Ross Barton (Michael Parr) have a chemical substance thrown in his face by drug dealer Simon before being left howling in pain.

The episodes also showed viewers how to deal with an attack should they encounter one.

Joseph Tate, who had been the intended victim, arrived on the scene shortly after, immediately splashing water over Barton’s face and removing his acid-soaked clothing.

However, many viewers were left feeling ‘disturbed’ and ‘appalled’ by the scenes, with some questioning whether the footage should been aired before the watershed.

Others praised the ITV series "raising awareness" of the issue.

A representative for Emmerdale defended the storyline, saying it had been 'thoroughly researched'.

“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," they said.

"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.”

Ahead of the programmes Parr told Digital Spy the storyline was a “big responsibility”.

"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."

Emmerdale continues Friday, February 9 at 7.30pm.