Last night’s episode of Coronation Street has sparked backlash and Ofcom complaints after viewers were left feeling “physically sick” by harrowing scenes that saw 16-year-old Bethany Platt [Lucy Fallon] get gang-raped by three much older men.
Bethany has been involved in a disturbing grooming storyline over recent months, but last night took a dark turn as her fiance, Nathan, pimped her out at a sex party.
Due to Britain’s Got Talent’s live semi-finals, Corrie has been airing at 9pm this week and the post-watershed timeslot has allowed for the ITV soap to show the true extent of Bethany’s plight.
With Nathan telling the teen that it “turns him on” to watch her with other men, a reluctant but brainwashed Bethany hesitantly agreed to go into a bedroom, viewers saw her sitting on the bed alone before a number of older men walked up to Nathan, handed him cash, joined Bethany in the room and shut the door.
Fans of the soap were left to imagine what was going on off-camera, and many horrified viewers took to social media to share their reaction to the disturbing scene:
This Bethany storyline on #coronationstreet has got to be the most horrific one they have ever done
— Zo. (@Zolouman) June 1, 2017
felt physically sick watching poor Bethany sitting in that bedroom and those 3 guys went in and closed the door #coronationstreet
— MsArleneB (@MsArlene_B) June 1, 2017
i'm not sure i can watch #coronationstreet bethany storyline is sickening
— Hayley F (@magical2727) June 1, 2017
Ngl, Bethany's story is making me feel a little bit sick #CoronationStreet
— Meg (@meganbarber11) June 1, 2017
Ofcom later confirmed that they had received 13 complaints about last night’s episode, with a spokesman saying: “We will assess these complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate.”
Although some viewers were left outraged by the storyline, others praised the show for drawing attention to such a difficult subject matter and raising awareness on child grooming.
Lucy has also been acclaimed for her brilliant portrayal of the tormented teenager, with soap bosses promising that she will end up “saving herself” from vile Nathan’s grooming.