Friday, 2 June 2017

Do YOU think Coronation Street went too far last night?


Much is being made of last night's Coronation Street in which Nathan burned Bethany with a cigarette and forced her to sleep with three men at once.  I know I felt sick when the credits rolled and I'm thankful that at the end of this week's post-watershed episodes, we'll go back to the more traditional Corrie that we love.

Fans on social media, and by email to me today, have been saying today that they thought Corrie went too far with the story last night, that it was too difficult to watch.

But do you agree?  The whole point of highlighting such a difficult story is that it engages the teenagers who this kind of thing could be happening to, to encourage them to get help and support.

This is what Corrie producer Kate Oates told me when I interviewed her last week.

“We are still very careful about what we show. We saw three men file into the bedroom which is as sinister as I want to watch. It was useful to speak to the writers and the network to say that when we bring this storyline to a point of its darkest drama that we did have the scope for a later time slot. It doesn’t show much more than we have done previously, we have always been careful. “

You can read the full interview here

I'd love to know your thoughts. Did Corrie go too far last night? In tonight's Corrie we'll see David, Gary and the Platts race to the tanning salon to save Bethany. You can read the preview here.


Read more Corrie news and spoilers here




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37 comments:

Tvor said...

It went a lot way to making viewers hate Nathan even more, I can tell you that! Yes, it was disturbing and I wonder if, in real life, men like Nathan would even be allowing their girls to watch it. I really hope it does help some of these women in that position. People find a lot of things uncomfortable, not just things like this. Death, illness such as Hope's cancer, violence, all of which gets shown on Corrie aired at the normal time as a regular thing. The topic of Bethany's story is a bit more adult so having it on later is good and it's a story that needs to be shown.

Maricha said...

Considering that these shows aired later than usual, I think the scenes were appropriate; that's what happens to girls who are trafficked. There would be no storyline if we didn't know what Bethany goes through.

What I'm wondering is what's going to happen when these scenes are aired in Canada by the CBC instead of a service because Corrie is normally on at 6:30 weeknights (or 7:30 if hockey playoffs aren't over) and Sunday mornings.

Anonymous said...

They may a point about having an impact on young women. Perhaps the young are desensitized to violence though social media and need this level of depravity to make a point. We older folks get it with just hint but were born with i-phones attached.

Anonymous said...

Interesting question Maricha. I'm an American that watches the Corrie Canada feed. I'm interested to see when they might show these scenes. American soaps tended to be a lot more graphic these days so Americans would probably not flinch, but I'm not sure how CBC handles adult story lines.

Maricha said...

Normally, they would just add a viewer warning and let it go at that;after all we don't actually see anything, it's hinted at.

If, however, people in the UK lodge complaints to whatever their television standards board is, the CRTC which regulates ours may want to see more actions taken.Since it's summer the CBC has more leeway as to scheduling.

Tilly Flop said...

I have found these scenes extremely distressing and hard to watch, but it is my choice to continue to do so. I physical winced when Nathan stubbed the cigarette on Bethany's arm, even though I knew it was coming, and the scene where the 3 men paid the money and filed into the bedroom, then the door slowly closing, made me feel sick. I know this goes on in real life, but it felt like we were party to it going on as well. All credit to everyone involved in making the storyline so credible

Newfy Pearl said...

Interesting point brought up by TVOR....would men like Nathan allow their girls to watch something like this...my thought...if they can show the police involvement as real and credible you bet they will! What a nice idea for them to torment and hold mentally captive those who are in such a situation.
Because as they say...if it is on television, it must be real.
((Yes I know the difference of this, but many do not.))
So again Corrie...do not pee on me and tell me it is raining. This storyline is sensationalism to earn points, not a public service announcement.

Laura said...

I agree with Newfy Pearl. There was a time when I thought this was a story that needed to be told, and I believed that the purpose was to help young people who found themselves at risk or in this situation, or their friends and family members. I would even have said these particular scenes were also worthwhile because this happens in real life.

But after they depicted going to the police as a bad idea, since there might be rotten cops who won't help anyway and just make things worse, I don't believe that anymore. That twist was purely for "entertainment" and sensationalism. Corrie could do so much better.

Anonymous said...

I don't think men like Nathan would allow "their" girls to watch the show. Having said that I think the idea is to reach girls before they get to that point and educate other people about the mental manipulation that happens to these girls. Personally I was glad they went as far as they did with Bethany and with the younger girl, if they are going to show it they have to go the whole way for me or it's a cop out.

Zagg said...

Personally, I don't think the Corrie audience are teens at all. And as an adult I really don't need this story to go one and on as it has. I believe what started out as as a good idea has morphed into sensationalism. And really,I am fed up with hearing..."bringing awareness". That ship sailed long ago. The audience is not stupid.

Maricha said...

At this point all we can hope for is that the aftermath cleans up the misstep made by having Neil be a police officer but it sure was a huge mistake no matter how it's spinned after the fact.

Louby said...

In the earlier post about "What's next for Bethany?", it quoted Kate Oates as saying the plot twist with Neil being a copper was a twist for drama, so that suggests to me that she knows it's passed the point of being about awareness. I do hope it has succeeded in what it set out to do, but this is too much.

Rebecca said...

I haven't seen the scenes yet, but I think part of the problem people are having is that no one wants to admit that these things can and do happen to teens from "nice" families" in "nice" areas. The truth can make for difficult viewing even if it's not something you're directly involved in.

Tilly Flop said...

Well said Rebecca. My thoughts exactly. I've said as much previously. Also, this also shows that the groomers can come from all walks of life too

Tilly Flop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Jeanie (anon):
I liked the story when it started and think Nathan plays the part perfectly but now I just don't find it very convincing and am even starting to feel impatient and annoyed with Bethany--precisely because the scenario seems so far-fetched, like a dated Victorian melodrama. I just find it unlikely that a girl with her background--and remember she is supposed to be older than her years, not an innocent naif--and a family who love and support her, would stay with the boyfriend pimping her out. For example, doesn't she get it when she sees the party involves other very young women in skimpy dresses entertaining men? Maybe if Nathan had gotten her addicted to drugs first...but to just do it because she thinks this is what you do in an adult relationship for the man you love. No, she's not that naive or stupid; and the brainwashing really hasn't been that extensive.

Overall, I don't think the story is really giving a very accurate portrayal of the victims (for all its self-congratulation). Vulnerable girls without families or places to stay (like Lara and Mel) are usually the target. And the point of predators like Nathan are that they are very good at choosing the vulnerable girls, the runaways looking lost at the train station or airport, not the ones it takes long months and endless effort to ensnare. They don't bother with those because it's too much work.

coconno196 said...

My thoughts exactly, Anonymous. Bethany comes from a good home with a supportive family, and was supposed to be of above average intelligence (when she and Sarah arrived from Milan). Most grooming targets are runaways, homeless, or in badly run care homes, so have nobody to turn to. I hope Bethany's ordeal prompts her to go back to college and get some qualifications, maybe even eventually become a social worker or counsellor.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeanie and coconno196. As for the Neil character, cops-on-the-take are generic characters in pulp fiction, so it didn't seem senationalist to me, just stock. Representations of cops are always tricky. It can be equally sensational (or propagandistic) to make the police as an instution come across as wholly benevolent. Neither representation - good cop/bad cop - is a perfect match to reality.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe a groomer would actually chose a girl whose entire family live across the street. Not very realistic at all. I am a viewer in Canada and will be fast forwarding through the "party scenes" as it completely sickens me.

Anonymous said...

The Platt's don't live opposite the tanning salon

Tvor said...

Bethany might have come from a good family but you know how dysfunctional the Platts are in spite of it! Bethany was in a very vulnerable place when Nathan found her, passed out on diet pills. There had been a body dug up from under the annex, her sister in law murdered, she'd been bullied and body-shamed, had two crushes on men that her mother was dating. She was primed for the kind of flattering attention Nathan was doling out.

bluegardenia said...

There are many issues which people find "uncomfortable to watch" that's exactly why they should be seen. Or do we expect to just waltz through life untouched by the world around us? If a particular Corrie story line makes someone uncomfortable then don't watch...bury your head in the sand and wait until Norris makes another inane comment...The purpose behind these kind of hard hitting story lines is to create awareness. Awareness about Human Trafficking, Miscarriages, Abortion, LGBTQ rights, Cancer, unfaithfulness and on and on it goes...this may not be YOUR life but it's nevertheless REAL life.

Rapunzel said...

No, I don't think they went too far. If they're prepared to tackle such a sensitive issue in the first place, they do no one a service by candy-coating things just in case it offends. If it offends, it's because of the realism of the story - not because Corrie crossed a public-decency boundary.

Beth said...

I think the story has past the 'public awareness' point and is now drama and awards territory. However even if it's not educating teens, as Corrie may not meet the teenager demographic, I as a mother of a teenage girl feel that I've learned quite a bit. The Platts are dysfunctional and I'd like to think I don't parent like Sarah in her 'I'm your friend' kind of way, grooming girls takes different ways, as seen here and in the drama "Three Girls". I think it's shown that with men like Nathan sadly any young girl is vulnerable.

Time to wrap it up now, I'm interested in a stronger Sarah by parenting more effectively and maturely. A recovering Bethany through counselling, love and care and showing the audience that it's possible to bring the perpetrators to justice by reporting them and telling what has happened. Making Neil a police officer was not helpful in the slightest!

maggie muggins said...

Canadian viewer here as well. I don't follow the Canadian discussions like I used to. The CBC has already aired the first of the Bethany grooming episodes, but the network hasn't given any warnings, or messages after about getting help. Our TV here is very inconsistent about "adult" content, sometimes going overboard with warnings, blurring and bleeps, and other times letting all sorts through at odd times.

I was going to email them to just let them know about the amount of media attention and discussion this is getting in the UK, but just haven't had time. I do wonder how it's all being received by viewers here, especially younger ones. And we aren't even up to the special week yet. It could be very triggering for women and men to come across this story with no warning and spoilers like we all come across all the time here. I feel the CBC is being somewhat irresponsible about this, especially for not providing links to help groups.

maggie muggins said...

Sorry, to answer the original question - although it was very difficult to watch, I don't think it went to far if it can help even one young person (happens to males too) who is affected by any aspect of Bethany's storyline.

Maricha said...

That's what had me worried. Most Canadian viewers watch this on the CBC which is two weeks behind. Airing these episodes without warnings and advice about support groups isn't a good idea.

rbo said...

Baffled by a couple of the comments here that seem to be condemning the plot for passing the point of raising an awareness to becoming sensationalised. Isn't that kind of the point with a soap? You want a bit of thought and drama to the story otherwise you might as well drop the episode and just run a public service announcement. While I'm in two minds about whether the story itself is so far a success, in basics I think it's achieved what it set out to. The amount of discussion both online and in real life I've heard about the story has no doubt opened people's eyes a little bit more to the issue behind the story but at the same time, introducing a dramatic element like the crooked copper and therefore managing to bring in other characters like Craig to the mix makes for good drama, characterisation and story too. With drama you need to find a healthy balance between raising awareness and telling a good story.

Laura said...

I think part of the backlash is because the show's representatives have been so vocal that the purpose of the story is to raise awareness and help people. They've been beating that drum so loud and so hard that including an element in the story that undoes a lot of that help makes no sense and goes against their own messaging and positioning of the story. They framed it as a PSA all along and welcomed coverage and discussion of it as such.

Tilly Flop said...

I think we can only judge the storyline once we know the outcome. That we know that Bethany is ok and on the road to recovery and Nathan and his motley crew end up getting convicted and end up spending a very long time in solitary confinement in Strangeways. Also, I feel the crooked copper twist was a good move to show that these despicable​ creatures can come from all walks of life, with respectable occupations or otherwise

Newfy Pearl said...

Well said Laura.
Tilly Flop...if this were to happen to someone in real life they would 'never get over it'. It will shape who they are for the rest of their lives. And like characters like Becky and Carla the writers are going to milk it for all they are worth. Just when you think love and support has changed the outcome - the writers have them go off the rails with alcohol and self destructive behaviour.

Tilly Flop said...

"on the road to recovery" were my exact words. I meant getting out of this brainwashed stage she's in and adjusting to life in the real world again. I know she'll 'never get over it'. Hence the reason I phrased it that way

Where's Emily?? said...


I don't believe that anything that aired shouldn't have. It's a soap opera. If it informs people and raises awareness, then wonderful. But, the purpose is to entertain.
Tracy murdered her boyfriend, for example. she abused herself to make it look like Charlie abused her, burning her arm with an iron. John Stape raped and had an affair with a teenager, he murdered people.
I repeat, the purpose of the program is to entertain not necessarily to educate people.
Get a grip, it's fiction.

Rebecca said...

A bit of an older thread now, but looking through the comments since my original reply made me shake my head. Several of the annons who replied since I did really went a long way in proving the point of my original point. Yes, maybe kids sitting alone in a bus station are obvious targets of groomers, but so are teens with emotional weaknesses like Bethany who had such low self esteem that she was passed out from taking diet pills when Nathan found her. In many ways they're easier targets because externally they have a nice family and live in a nice house and look like they have it all pulled together. Some homeless kid sitting alone in a bus station is actually more likely to have street smarts.

I'm another Canadian. We're just getting into the worst of the storyline now. I haven't heard any discussion about it at all. To be fair, I know when I was growing up watching Corrie on the CLC on Sunday mornings, I was watching it with my parents who were there to give me guidance with the more difficult storyline. I'm not even sure that anyone watches it through the week, the Sunday omnibus is a bit of a tradition ;)

Maricha said...

It's the show who went out of its way to inform everyone that this storyline was meant to educate.

Newfy Pearl said...

Thank you Maricha. This was my point as well. Corrie is a soap...a drama. Fine - it is what it is. But when you try to get mass approval for a storyline by declaring it a form of public education then you are heading down a slippery slope.
If it was done to bring awareness.....one. parents can identify it, 2. young girls can identify and avoid, 3. there is a safe place to go for help (ie. the police or a counsellor) but when the help turns out to be a member of law enforcement.....then doesn't that send a wrong message to anyone who would seek help?
This is where I think Corrie failed...not with the acting, not even with the story (if we take it as pure fiction) but with the holier than thou accept this story because it is for the greater good line.
This is my last comment on this. lol I have stated my opinion and whle not everyone gets it..some do...time to move on. :-)

Laura said...

Agree - there are two lines of thought on this and that's fine. It's largely why I read and post here - to have conversations with others and hear different opinions from my own.

Which is why, whether we agree with one another, comments like "get a grip" are unnecessary. Surely we can disagree without speaking to each other and treating each other's opinions with disrespect?

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