Corrie is in the clear over child grooming episode

Jennifer Read-Dominguez
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

A controversial episode concerning Coronation Street's "child grooming" storyline will not be investigated, following complaints about scenes involving Nathan Curtis targeting Bethany Platt.

In the episode assessed by Ofcom, Nathan (Chris Harper) was seen promising his friend Neil that he would be the first person to have sex with 16-year-old Bethany (Lucy Fallon) after manipulating the teenager by arranging for her to get drunk before taking her back to his house.

Photo credit: ITV

But the TV regulator said: "We assessed complaints about this storyline.

"We concluded the content was neither graphic nor violent, and took into account Coronation Street's established role in covering challenging or distressing social issues."

It's not completely in the clear just yet, as more episodes have aired since then – all covering the same storyline – which are still being assessed by Ofcom.

Photo credit: ITV

It comes after ITV boss Kate Oates said that although it may be difficult to watch, the subject is an important one to cover.

"Bethany's story has been crafted over many months, to create an awareness for viewers about the dangers of grooming," she previously said.

"Her journey has begun in a way many young people will recognise: through feelings of low self-worth. Bethany's story is a challenging watch: but we hope it will encourage open discussion amongst friends and families about self-esteem, confidence, and most importantly, safety."

UK children's charity Barnardo's has also addressed the child-grooming storyline, crediting Coronation Street with "shining a light on this serious but little discussed issue".

"This storyline makes for difficult watching but it's important as many people as possible are aware of the signs of grooming, so we can prevent this abuse happening," Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan said.

Photo credit: ITV

"Like Bethany's character, the young victims of this crime mistakenly think these child sex abusers care for them because they're often showered with presents and attention.

"But alcohol and mobile phones can be used to control and manipulate them into doing things they don't want to do."

Coronation Street airs on ITV.

Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 (www.nspcc.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline on (1-800-422-4453) or the American SPCC (www.americanspcc.org).

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