Corrie producer Kate Oates has hinted that the rape trial the character goes through won’t necessarily end in legal justice – a reflection on the real-life reality where a number of rape cases don’t go the victim’s way in court.
Speaking to Metro, Oates said that the story would play out in a way that wouldn’t see justice served traditionally, but implied rapist Josh would get his comeuppance somehow.
‘I am not afraid of controversy,’ she stated. And it’s not the first time she’s been outspoken about controversial storylines that could prove upsetting or triggering for audiences.
The reveal that Shayne Ward’s Aidan was going to kill himself was made public as a trigger warning to viewers who may have been affected by suicide and wanted to give them the choice of seeing it or not: ‘We decided we wanted to give people the chance of whether they wanted to watch it or not – we took a similar approach with David Platt’s rape story,’ she said.
‘It’s more important to reflect the truth. If you tie things up with a bow, there’s a danger people take away from that: “it’s all right then, we don’t need to talk about this anymore, it’s done.” But it’s not done,’ she said.
‘There are lots of things within that story that we couldn’t show on screen. If I were going to show that story in court, I’d have been fascinated to have played the truth of it – I hope he doesn’t mind me name dropping here but I am really good friends with (Judge) Robert Rinder and I talked to him about the story and he spoke to me about how he might cross-examine someone on the stand or how someone else might.’
So while viewers may assume David (played by Jack P. Shepherd) will get justice, they’re advised to think again.
‘Rob [Rinder] is a massive supporter of the storyline – he’s a great friend and sounding board. Duncan Craig from Survivors Manchester did the same when he took us through the kinds of questions someone might be faced with on the stand. It’s hard and it’s brutal and you question whether we are set up in the best place to get these convictions?
‘If it were a 9pm drama and we saw David Platt on the stand talking about what had happened to him, a barrister might cross examine him with a huge level of detail to try and discredit him – it is really intimate and makes you think “I never thought about it that way and how it could be spun”.’
As a prime time drama, Oates says they’re trying to be as real to life as possible while remaining within watershed constraints: ‘I think it’s important not to artificially tie things up – I believe that David’s perpetrator wouldn’t be convicted in this instance,’ she reckons.
‘David got rid of all of the evidence. We will have to tie the storyline off – it will find an ending which will surprise people. David will get a catharsis and some acknowledgement but he might not get that legally. In soap, a lot of the justice often comes from the community – Phil Collinson used to call it the court of Coronation Street and I completely get that.’
If you need help or advice regarding sexual assault, visit Rape Crisis for more information and support.
Catch Coronation Street weeknights, from 7.30pm, on ITV1.