‘Enders’ Paedo Grooming Scenes Spark Complaints

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice Of Soap.

EastEnders is no stranger to controversy and the latest furore concerns new character Tony King. He is Bianca’s boyfriend, but he’s also a paedophile who’s been grooming Bianca’s 15-year-old step-daughter Whitney Dean. The scenes of Tony (played by actor Chris Coghill) preying on the teenager in the pre-watershed soap have proved too much for some viewers and, as a result, the BBC has received scores of complaints.

On Friday night’s episode, Tony was shown kissing Whitney after sneaking into her bedroom. On Monday, he was back in her bedroom telling her: "You look just like that same 12 year-old girl I fell in love with." In addition to the subject itself, it’s the depiction of Whitney appearing a willing participant that has upset some fans. There have already been almost 200 complaints to the BBC and media regulator Ofcom and BBC message boards contain posts from horrified viewers: "I am totally disturbed by tonight’s episode…I can barely talk," one said. "The storyline with Whitney & Tony is terrible. I am aware this type of abuse is going on in some homes but is this really the only way to get the message across?" Another message said: "It is appalling that my daughters watch this just before bed. This is a family show and I think I should be able to choose how I approach/inform my children about abuse. Not via EastEnders."

The BBC defended the soap, stating that they were working closely with the NSPCC on the storyline. Copies of the script are apparently sent to the charity for perusal. The controversy over this and last month’s row over the murder of Jase Dyer is the latest in a long-line of complaints about certain storylines. Only recently, the BBC was censured by Ofcom for the Max Branning buried-alive scenes.

My own personal view is that child abuse is, obviously, a very disturbing subject. By involving the NSPCC, I think the EastEnders writers are taking their responsibility seriously and trying to get across the insidious nature of child abuse and child abusers in a realistic manner. There is no way to tackle this subject and make it ‘pleasant’ viewing. Obviously, I wouldn’t want them to go too far over the line, but if this subject is aired to millions via a soap and it gives one abused child the courage to speak up, or if it makes an abuser stop, then it will all have been worthwhile. That’s my opinion – what’s yours? Is EastEnders going too far with this storyline? Click ‘add a comment’ and let me know but PLEASE DO NOT SWEAR.

That’s it for now. Join me on Friday for more soap news and gossip. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.

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100 Responses to ‘Enders’ Paedo Grooming Scenes Spark Complaints

  1. ellie says:

    My dauhter is 10 years old and is a fan of Eastenders, she understands what is going on with Tony and Whitney, I have explained to her about paedophiles and she understands the dangers, I also to talked to her about the fact that paedophiles can be young, attractive men, not lonely old men (well some can be of course). The story line has not upset her atall, she just sees Tony as another \’bad guy\’ on Eastenders. I also have a 16 year old daughter who commented that she thought Tony\’s behavior was \’discusting\’ but at the same time agrees that Tony\’s grooming should be shown to raise awareness. I also think that the BBC is should be allowed to show this story line and agree with my 16 year old daughter that it can help raise awareness. I had a bad experience, not with my mother\’s boyfriend but with a friend of my parents when I was 11, I was terrified and too scared to tell my parents and just tried to keep out of the mans way as much as possible and fortunately he moved away after a few months and it all stopped. I think it is also good that the BBC are working with the NSPCC. I do not see any reason why this tory line should not be shown, people that ring up and complain to the BBC just don\’t want the truth shoved in thier faces.

  2. Emma says:

    I think it is right for eastenders to tackle this sort of abuse. it needs to show that what ever happens the person who is bein abused can stand up and speak out. and they wil get the help they need to bring the abuser to justice.

  3. laura says:

    I Think That Eastenders Are Doing A Great Job &+ Stroyline About Pedo\’s. As Im 15 I Understand What The Are & What They Do. I Have Not Been Abuse But I Cant Imgaine What It Would Be Like & I Hope It Brings People Who Are Being Abused To The Phone, Eastenders Do A Good Job In Highlighting Differnet Subjects. If It UpSets Anyone Press Your Remote Botton Because Theres Other Things On Then Eastenders, They Also Have Balls To Do This Kind Of Subject As You Cant Just Brush It Under The Carpet !
     
    Carry On With What Your Doing, Its Great
    Ly xxxx

  4. carla says:

    i think eastenders have done a great job with this story line, as alot of girls are in this situation and dont relise that they are being groomed, i know when i was younger and i was in this situation i would not have relised what was going on, i was very grown up for my age but still would have just thought it was an older guy who liked me.so i think its great it is being shown in this way and cant understand any parent not wanting their child to have their eyes opened on how grooming can work in different ways.

  5. Lewis says:

    i dont see the problem with it its just a soap

  6. Lewis says:

    if you dont want your kids watching it then turn it over simple

  7. adrian says:

    I hope the dim wits don\’t get confused that the actor is only acting and don\’t attack him  personally for what he is acting

  8. Unknown says:

    i dont see why this is a big deal, it happens in real life so why is it different on tv ? im 13 an i understand as my mum has told me about paedophiles. keep going storylines are great !!

  9. Beckie says:

    Why shouldn\’t Eastenders show issues like this? It is happening to children all over the world and some of them probably think that what the peado is doing isn\’t wrong. Maybe something like this would help them to understand that what the peado is doing is wrong.
     
    I don\’t see why everyone is making a fuss over something like this.
    If you don\’t want your child to watch it then don\’t let them. I\’m sure there is plenty of other programmes they can watch.
    I\’m 15 and my parents don\’t mind me watching it because all the issues in there happen to real people.
     
    Keep up the good work Eastenders 🙂 x

  10. Roisin says:

    hasn\’t the storyline been done before with kat and harry?  he abused her and got her pregnant with zoe.  the fact they\’re repeating the same thing says more about the soap than all the comments about sensationalism and the complaints.  it\’s also been done by corrie (sarah-lou meeting that guy off the internet about 5 yrs ago now).  it\’s nothing new ppl, it\’s just boring 2 me now.  i wish they did do something fresh and controversial for a change. 

  11. sue says:

    people who are against this story need their eyes opened,the storyline has been so well written,as the 1 lady commented,paedos arnt old men in rain coats stood on the corner,its the grooming that children dont realise whats beeing done to them.i speak 1st hand of this as my son was abused by his stepfather for 6years,i was married for 17years,i didnt know what was going on,so hopefully by children watching this maybe more will be saved.keep up the good work eastenders,to those who dont like it,im sure theres a nice gardening programme you can watch so you can keep smelling the roses!!!!!!!!!

  12. Unknown says:

    i dont even watch eastenders – and for that reason, i cant say how graphic any of these scenes were, but surely the viewing public can\’t expect child abuse to be a light and fluffy subject. its supposed to be an eye opener, or at least a complex plot line, so personally, i think people are being unecessarily unreasonable. if parents allow their children to watch it, they should decide if its appropriate or not.

  13. Lacie says:

    I love eastenders, its amazing! the people who think it\’s \’disturbing\’ \’horrific\’ etc. Why watch it and complain???? If you don\’t like the storylines or find the scenes too disturbing and inappropriate then just simply pick up your remote and change to a different channel. SIMPLE! I personally think the new storylines are great! Tony and Whitney\’s storyline can actually help people understand, that episode has surely helped at least 1 out of millions of people. There are children bein abused everyday but are afraid to speak up! Surely 1 abuser has understood!! This storyline has been written to perfection and hope there is plenty more to come!!
     
     
    KEEP IT UP EASTENDERS YOUR BRILLIANT!

  14. jane says:

    As a adult who went through childhood being preyed upon by a peodophile, I really belive that I have the background to know where this storyline is coming from. GOOD FOR EASTENDERS!!! If it stops just one pervert from doing to a child what I went through then it is worth putting ten thousand noses out of joint and their complaints, keep going with your complaints, but when your writing them from your ivory towers where life is so perfect and this kind of thing does not go on, IT DOES, and a story line like this, may help just one child to be spared from the lifelong agony and scarring due to people knowing what to watch out for, and for the child watching the progamme to know it is not their fault and to report it! If this storyline offends you then think about it, thats good isn\’t it? It\’s hit where it needs to, in your hearts, you know it\’s wrong what goes on and you might even learn some of the telltale signs that these sickos give off, and by causing such an uproar then more people are aware and vidulant. Don\’t be offended it is there for their ratings granted but it also brings to light this horrible life that myself and thousands of other children have suffered, and you could help stop it. Watch it, learn from it, and if you can\’t face watching it, then let others be who can watch it and may be able to help in the future from what they have learnt through this programme be!

  15. Richard says:

    I don\’t normally watch Eastenders but have seen the bits about Tony. In my opinion, as the father to a wonderful daughter, I think they are right to show it.
     
    As many people have commented on here, if it saves 1 child from being abused then it\’s been worth it. Yes it is uncomfortable viewing sometimes and yes it makes my skin crawl, but these people are acting. There are real kids in the real world that are actually going through this.
     
    So it\’s before the watershed. Do we see them naked? Nope. Is there any violence going on? No. And if you don\’t like it you don\’t even have to get out your chairs these days to switch over!! Do these people that complained think that peodophiles only do this after 9pm?
     
    I think the BBC should be applauded for working closely with the NSPCC on this.

  16. Richard says:

    I think Jane below says all about why it should be shown! TV is supposed to be entertaining and educational. Let those of us who might not find it entertaining but do find it educational, watch it.

  17. Sara-Louise says:

    having been sexually abused as a child i think its important for programs to highlight this issue. Men like Tony DO Exist. Good on Eastenders for having for guts to highlight these problems

  18. Phil says:

    Lets put these complaints into reality….
    Eastenders has approximatley 16million veiwers per episode
    aproximatley 200 complaints have been recieved
    that equals 1 person in every 80,000 people.
    hardly an overwelming majority!!
     
     

  19. Graham says:

    having 2 young daughters (8 & 7) who was sexually abused for a number of years and who both was avid eastenders fans i find this storyline very close to home my daughters can no longer watch eastenders i can understand why the bbc are highlighting this problem however it should be aired after the watershed, i shall be glad when this storyline is over however after reading todays papers i feel it will be a very long drown out storyline.

  20. Alicia says:

    I think most adults are mature enough to cope with subjects like this.  They are also capable of turning the tv off if worried about the effect on their children.  If I don\’t want to watch something I do something else instead.  Easy !

  21. fee says:

    To be honest, it sent shivers down my spine. I was shocked. But this is a reality, this is life, and for some, a nightmare. Lets face it, some people cant handle the truth. For those thousands of children, suffering alone now, this story line may just be the icing on the cake and help them reach the decision to call the NSPCC.  What Eastenders do not do, is let the public know the statistics after this is shown, and did they do any help at all with these help lines. That would be really interesting to know.

  22. fee says:

    Adding to the No Name comments – yes I think the actor has taken on a high risk roll and I hope that some members of the public do not retaliate in their confusion between acting and real life.  Its happened before!!!  Let see how long it takes before we hear something?

  23. Nick says:

    Seems to me that this type of abuse is still widespread, such a shame in our modern society.Highlighting this on a show with a following like Eastenders to me is definately way forward. If these episodes alert one parent to the signs then it has been worthwhile. WELL DONE bottom line if you have a problem then change channels. Its ok to show our audiences gay scenes, racial abuse, violence then lets admit there is this abuse and deal with it.

  24. Alan says:

    Of course we all  KNOW that "men like Tony do exist". We also know that this unhappy subject is "part of life". So is going to the lavatory, but I am sure we do not to see old Ma Slater sitting on the pan taking a dump just to confirm the point.I am not against a serious drama exploring this sort of issue, what I DO question is the motives of the Eastenders production team. We have so many sex plots – I always feel they take on a subject for the titilalation angle rather than the "educational" one: It\’s a bit like the garbage "newspaper "The News of the World", which, while it (and it\’s readers) pretend to be shocked and appalled, like to go into every sordid detail of the matter in hand. OK some people get their jollies from this sort of thing, but it would be far more honest if the EE team admitted they were doing it to get ratings, ratherv than pretend some spurious "social concern".

  25. Julie says:

    i think the storyline is being handled very well so far. it is a very common thing these days as sad as that is and its good to get the message out there to people. it may just help some poor child who is getting abused to tell someone or at least not blame themselves for what is happening. alot of children think its their own fault that something is happening to them and keep it a secret because they are ashamed and are made to think its what they want when deep down they know it isnt what they want, but cant see a way out. good call eastenders. but do keep handling it gently. it does hit close to home for me, and i think its good to make the rest of the world aware..

  26. emma says:

    Unfortunately abuse and grooming like this does happen in the real world!!  As much as i enjoy the humour and day to day storylines that usually appear in shows such as these, i think it is an important move that eastenders have made to highlight the dangers and to get the message out there, that these things are happening every day. They havn\’t gone in to it lightly, they have researched and worked with relevant companies so I hope that at least somewhere, it helps someone.  

  27. Trish says:

     I think eastenders are doing a good job by highlighting this subject… for all the complainers out there these things do happen in real life and have been for years "open your eyes" turn it off if you don\’t like it. I was abused myself many years ago so I understand the importance of this being shown and if it helps one person who is being abused or allows one person to spot the tell tale signs then its all worth it. well done with all the research.

  28. Donna says:

    I have to agree that this story line is rather disturbing but it\’s reality! It is a family soap but also soaps are about real life. The world we live in today subjects like this have to be brought to our attention and I personaly think this is a good way of doing so. I think that this story line will help youngsters out there who are going through the samething have the courage to do something about it and they may realise that they arn\’t alone there is help out there, they are not alone and it\’s not tolerated in our society today.

  29. Marcelle says:

    It\’s an important topic that should be addressed and EastEnders is good way to do it. My only objection is if Tony is seen to get away with in indefinately, just so EastEnders can prolong the drama. He needs to be caught and jailed soon. Don\’t string this out for ages, it seems clear that he\’s been getting away with it since she was 12 enough is enough.

  30. Kym says:

    i\’m not stupid and i know things like this happen in real life. Im also never one to normally switch a disturbing story line off for the reasons i just gave. But this is a hard hard story line to watch. On one hand, i dont want to watch at all. On the other hand i think its good that Eastenders are tackling a difficult issue like this as much as some closed-minded people might disagree. But there are scenes that i dont think need to be included, like when Bianca & Tony had some alone time kissing on the sofa & Tony looks over at a very young picture of Whitney when he\’s kissing Bianca, We know who he is & what he\’s doing and i felt like that didnt need to be included.

  31. Rachel says:

    I think Eastenders are doing a great job… it is an upsetting storyline and I feel like not watching the show, but if it helps 1 child in an awful situation, it was all worth it.

  32. victoria says:

    i think it is  a good story line as it might help some children that r in the same position
    as we all know these horrbile thing do happen an if just one of those children see it they will see that they get help and that is really wrong and it not there fault

  33. Zoe says:

    Well done eastenders, why should we hide the fact that this happens, many children watch eastenders and this is a good way to reach them, hopefully it may help some realise that it is happening to them and that they are not the only ones. 

  34. Nimz says:

    i think that this story line is brilliant, these type of things are happening in many peoples homes and this sort of thing is needed to open our eyes.
    i think eastenders should keep doing their thing.

  35. Unknown says:

    As a relatively stable adult I find this an insightful and educational storyline and I\’m sure that the masses do. My concern, however, is around whether it actually propogates grooming rather than prevent it.
     
    It\’s a known fact that by putting paedophiles together i.e. in prison, that the commonality that they share makes their urges (however sickening to us) seem normal. What do paedophiles (or paedophiles-in-waiting?) take from the programme? Does it make their urges seem rational/more acceptable by it being on a programme with a mass following? Would it encourage those that would never instigate anything to follow through on their urges?
     
    And young girls watching? What do they make of it? Do they want to be just like Whitney because to them it seems like she\’s just so grown up – "in love" with a fairly attractive man who "loves" her back? I remember as a young girl grasping anything that gave me the appearance of being older even if on the inside I was just a child. Hopefully most have a good enough sense-of-self to avoid this trap – but for those who are more malleable?
     
    It seems that all our comments are taken from the perspective of the masses (sane and rational looking for the educational benefits) but my worry is around what paedophiles and young girls make of it. I\’d welcome any thoughts to the contrary as I really don\’t like thinking that this is the case.

  36. Carole says:

    Well done Eastenders ………………. This kind of story line is just what people need to see, this abuse of children does take place and hiding from it just keeps it secret ………………….. and thats what these sick individuals count on. Children in the same situation need to know that help is available for them at all times. If this kind of in your face story line helps just one child realise that what is happening to them is wrong then Eastenders should be given an award not critisised.

  37. Beverley Ann says:

    I totally agree that it is good to educate children that this type of behaviour is wrong, and there are far too many instances of this happening in "real life" and the children not realising that it is wrong. I understand that some people may find it offensive, but I think that in this day and age, we have to teach our children about people like this, who sadly, do exist! I understand that some people prefer to decide themselves when it is right to teach their kids about this, however, if kids can be warned, properly, whilst they are young, surely this is the main point – they need to understand when they are young, – as most children that this happens too will be chosen because they are too young to realise what is happening.
     
    That said though, Eastenders (by far my favourite soap), must tackle this quickly, and not allow it to go on and on and on so people get bored with it, like they do many other storylines. Deal with it in a decent timescale and it will hold the interest and not just become "another storyline". Its an important issue, and must be sensibly shown, and dealt with. We need to see this guy suffer and we need to see how it effects the children involved – people must learn something from a storyline of this nature.
     
    To those of you who are saying that you won\’t allow your children to watch eastenders because of this, please please sit your children down and explain what is happening and why it is wrong, in the end, I really feel that it will do so much more for your children than stopping them.
     
    Graham, obviously, if you have had this, or a similar situation in your family, i understand this could be upsetting, and why your daughters can\’t watch at the moment and this is another reason that I hope that they don\’t drag it out too long, so that you can get back to watching without that "too close to home" feeling.
     
    In my opinion it has, so far, been sensibly tackled and must continue to be. Well done Eastenders for tackling this risky issue!

  38. Pauline says:

    I say well done to Eastenders for daring to broach this sensitive subject, in a relatively real-life, non-intrusive way.
     
    Sadly, abuse does go on daily, and us as a nation have a habit of sweeping things under the carpet…if it doesn\’t affect us, then we don\’t let it worry us.
     
    Bringing this subject to the fore, through evening TV, i believe is a good way of opening our eyes. It may even help prevent further instances of abuse as children will be aware that they can seek help and they are not alone.
     
    Oh and in my opinion, if you don\’t think Eastenders (or other soaps) should be used to teach your children about differing life issues, or you feel that soaps are becoming far too dramatised and deviating from real-life, then the simple answer is…
    Stop complaining and change channels!!!! 🙂

  39. Pauline says:

    I think the story line is right to continue as young children are more likely to take it seriously if seen rather than take it all in from their parents. It will also help for children to discuss it with their mates as 
     most of them watch the soaps. Those that think the chilren are to young then turn over and wait for story line to come round again. Unfortunately the subject will never go away. Well done Eastenders*********

  40. mum says:

    as a victim of sex abuse i found this programe very uncomfortable but also i think it should be shown as most abusers are known to there victims it needs to be addressed so people are aware of what is happening in this world well done eastenders but they hopefully warn people of the content of the programe before it goes out people just dont need to watch it if they are offended by the content as i had to switch over well done eastenders .

  41. James says:

    I completely agree with the storyline cos most kids dont listen to their parents but by watching it on eastenders they will be more likely to take into consideration of what signs to look out for and become more confident to speak up if ever caught up into a "wrong" situation.
    The people who complain will always have something to complain about BUT WHEY THATS WHAT REALITY IS LIKE LIVE WITH IT and STOP MOANING about it!!!!

  42. Claudette says:

    I think it\’s a good thing eastenders are working with the NSPCC for "…trying to get across the insidious nature of child abuse and child abusers in a realistic manner"All I can say is, I\’m 15 – and it\’s opened my eyes

  43. Sarah says:

    In response to \’no name – 21/09/08\’ and your concerns in regards to \’would be paedophiles\’ and young girls getting the wrong impression from the storyline – I do not think this will be the case because as the story line progresses, the writers are showing Tony as becoming increasingly possessive and controlling with Whitney, and that Whitney is gradually beginning to doubt his \’love\’ for her. Had they continued to depict Tony and Whitney\’s relationship as evenly sided, and shown Tony as caring towards Whitney I would agree that there should be some concern, regarding how individuals would interpret the situation. Again well done to the writers and producers regarding the storyline. I believe they are tackling this subject in the correct manner and I think it is important that children are aware of what can happen. I don\’t see it as any different to teaching them \’stranger danger\’, if anything it is even more important to make them aware that sometimes people who are close to you can have bad intentions, that the relationship between Tony and Whitney\’s relationship is wrong and that they should tell someone should they think it is happening to them.

  44. STACEY says:

    Personally, I think the storyline is a good idea because it lets viewers know that this behaviour happens in many homes, no matter who tries to ignore it, the fact is it DOES happen!
    Also, I think it will incourage young girls to tell people if this happens to them and it will let them know that it is a bad thing.
    Overall, eastenders should continue with the storyline because I think it will be interesting to watch, and it will benefit many people. So everyone back off the eastenders writers and let them do their thing! 🙂 x 

  45. Rachael says:

    I also agree with Saz. These things happen in the world, yes its one of the most awful subjects to broach but its no use just brushing subjects like this under the carpet for the police to deal with because they arn\’t able to help a child if the child hasn\’t reported it. If complainers managed to open their eyes for a moment and take into account that many children/teenagers don\’t listen to their parents opinions but they will watch progammes such as eastenders, it will make them more aware of what behavioural patterns are wrong, it will also help children to recognise these signs and get help if this happening to them. The storyline is being handled in a fantastic manner, yes it may be awful to watch but if this storyline helps even just one child get the help they need to stop just one sick perverted paedophile then its been a success!!! Complainers if you don\’t like it you don\’t have to watch it or even let your child watch it but more fool you!

  46. gita says:

    Eastenders gets slated for alot of its story lines, but this is an important issue, people have disagreed with how " Whitney seems to be going along with it", but this is the sort of trust that paedophiles try to instill by grooming their victims. Maybe by showing this someone in this situation may benefit by realising that this is happening to them.
    The only criticism that I have is the time it is being shown.
    I also think alot of people have a problem with this sort of story because they don\’t want to believe it happens, unfortunately it does.
     
     
     
     

  47. Cat says:

    I was also sexually abused when young, by my uncle, and I agree with those who say that if it helps just one child speak out, then it is worth it.  Well done EastEnders.  Much better than trying to copy The Vanishing!! 

  48. sam says:

    i myself find viewing very hard because it make me feel sick and disgusted but isnt that how we would feel in real life i know that i would, eastenders r doing this to try help others, if it helps save 1 child it would be worth it and at the end of the day if you dont agree to whats been aired then u can simply switch the programme off we are not forced to watch it, and as 4 people been disgusted on how whitneys seems to go along with tony its because people like tony make sure they r like this they need control otherwise they will be found out,

  49. Michael says:

    Eastenders will be working with NSPCC so the shows do get aired! Everyones going on about how it will help this help that. Has anyone considered that this may encourage paedophiles. For me as a father this quote sums it up in a nut shell. "It is
    appalling that my daughters watch this just before bed. This is a
    family show and I think I should be able to choose how I
    approach/inform my children about abuse. Not via EastEnders."I do not watch the soap. I stopped watching this rubbish long ago. I advise you to too.

  50. Janine says:

    I work for an organisation supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I am very concerned with this Eastenders storyline and even more concerned that NSPCC are supporting it.
    The portrayal of Whitney participating in the relatonship and thinking they will run away together is of huge concern to me. When young people are being groomed they are aware of uncomfortable feelings around the abuser but part of the grooming is to instill fear or guilt. When sexual appraoches actually happen the uncomfortable feelings turn to fear and many young people will do anything to avoid being anywhere near the abuser.
     
    This portrayal will actually prevent many young people coming forward as they may feel that others will think they encouraged the abuse. Many tell themselves that later in life anyway as they felt unable to do anything to stop it.
     
    Anyone who feels the need please keep complaining to the BBC as I will be doing. This is a subject that really needs to be tackled as public awareness of the incidence of childhood sexual abuse (statistics of 1 in 10 will be abused) is sorely lacking in our society. There is also still a tendency for survivors not being believed. The statistic I gave is also a vast under-representation as this is from reported cases of abuse and we have adults visiting our service who have never reported their experiences. However this should not be tackled in a soap opera. Lets have responsible broadcasting raising the issue.
     
     
     
     

  51. Andy says:

    It\’s quite simple, if you don\’t like it, don\’t watch it…………………………… well done enders for once again asking questions of our society.

  52. Jane says:

    Isn\’t this what a good play or show is meant to do?! the way it effects you is to shcok you, is to throw it in your face. By cushioning things, by making htem cuddly and not telling the whole story, it neither effects you, makes you think about it, or make you act. I think it is right for eastenders to show this storyline, and I am glad they are taking their responsability seariously by involving the NSPCC.Things like this are meant to educate you, meant to make you think, and meant to make people do something. If it disturbs you and sickens you, either it\’s doing it\’s job, or you should just turn off the tv.

  53. Oluwakemi says:

    I think this is a very good story line as it showcase the kind of emotional and sexual abuse some young people are going through.  I work with young people some who have been a victim of child abuse and i have an understanding about the effect it has on their life.  It is good that Eastender is able to point this out and also opening parents and families eyes to what is actually happening in their home.
     
    People should just stop complaining and face the fact that this is actually a vey common issue and it can happen to someone very close to you.

  54. Tinkermel says:

    i think the storyline is being done very carefully and shows the true emotions a young girl who had lost there own father may feel towards an older male and has been taken adbvantage of. it is impossible to stereotype how all abused children feel, most often the child feels great emotion for the abuser and therefore is unaware that what is going on is totally wrong. Its obvious that tony is controlling whitney instilling guilt into her.

  55. Unknown says:

    I think it is just a shame that whenever this sort of thing is tackled it is always someone white, portrayed as the paedophile. From personal experience this isn\’t always the case – I was attacked at age 12 by an Asian hospital doctor, when I had been partially blinded with a head injury! Luckily a nurse arrived preventing things from going further – but all she did was tell him off, saying he shouldn\’t be doing any "examinations" without a nurse present. It\’s almost forty years back now – but I still think about it and irrational as it may seem I still feel dirty.It just seems like racism to me that it always has to be your average white British male who gets stigmatised.

  56. Rosemary says:

    I have 3 children.  However my husband and I as the responsible adults and parents are careful what our children watch.
     
    To the family who allow their children to watch this before bedtime, you are the parent, you are in charge and you set the standards as to what is acceptable viewing for your children.
     
    A child\’s innocence is so precious and fragile.  We as parents need to protect it and once it\’s gone, it\’s gone!  Children grow up too quickily and become mini adults without the emotional ability to handle these very adult issues.  If we, their prents don\’t protect them, who will?
     
    Our children are 10, 8 and 6.  The 6 year old is in bed and fast asleep before the show starts and the the older 2 are in their rooms having "reading time" before lights out.  As the show is repeated at 10pm there is no need for any child whose parents feel the storyline or content unsuitable to see it!
     
    I personally think that these storylines are unfortunately a part of our everyday life at this time.  We have a mix of boys and girls and I see the portrayal of Whitney very moving and for me as a mother enlightening so I can protect my children.  If it isn\’t to your taste, or you can\’t see the positive effect this storyline can have then switch off. 
     
    As for me, I remain very much switched on.

  57. Soap Blogger says:

    (no name), sorry for your experience with the Asian doctor. But don\’t bring race into this. Paedophilia is an abomination – irrespective of the colour of the offender. I don\’t care if they\’re black, white, brown or green – they\’re sickos.

  58. chris says:

    i think this is a very good storyline because people need educating about how easy it is to be \’sucked in\’ by these sick people. my daughter was drawn in by her Taekwondo teacher. we were drawn in by this person, socialising with him and his girlfriend, going on holiday with them, sharing Christmas. Through a series of events I complained to the Police and he was taken to court where his past was revealed. He had sexually assaulted 2 girls of 9 and 10 in the early \’90\’s. I can\’t describe my emotions to hear this revelation. The sad part is he moved during procedings (now in Nottingham) and because of the legal system has escaped any further action. Lets hope through this storyline more people are aware of our vunerability to these scheming people.

  59. Princess says:

    Although I felt extremely uncomfortable watching the said episodes, I also have to say that they were very well portrayed and the acting was superb!
    This is a subject that is so often not touched upon and this can only help to bring things out into the open.

  60. Sorrel says:

    In reply to Cally, I don\’t think (no name) is bringing race into this. I think it took a lot for this person to share their experience and it\’s a valid point. All too often we see positive discrimination in favour of minority groups – this just points out the other side. personally I find it appalling that a DOCTOR of whatever colour or creed should use his position in such a perverse way!

  61. Unknown says:

    If Cally is accusing me of racism here, then I find it very insulting! I merely chose to share a particularly harrowing experience that took place on a hospital ward, during the night, when I was young, alone, partially blinded and suffering from concussion. I was a very naive twelve-year-old who thought that doctors could be trusted. Even after he had put his hands up my nightdress I thought that it must just be an examination procedure – although the only part of me that was injured was my head, with multiple stitches which I remember hurt like hell to start with!What I am saying is that soaps are supposed to reflect real life situations and this was mine.

  62. Unknown says:

    i know its a sensitive but unfortunately this is how it is this is what grooming is and its disturbingly accurately i was abused out side the family and he behaved simular to that and just like whitney i believed it till i got to about 8years old so it maybe upsetting but at least its realistic i think soaps that dont do the research and just assume and guess i find that more offensive. now what is the real issue the fact u can relate to whitney, find it unimaginable as you were fortunate enough to never to have had the situation in the proximatey of your life or is it the fear that it happens to often and 8 in 10 children are abused and that percentage makes you think of the welfare of your children the real sick thing is molesters only normally get about 4years if that and only if the victim is strong enough to go to court 

  63. karen says:

    Unfortunately it appears that no matter how Eastenders approached this subject in the long run there are going to be people watching it that complain, i doubt the real reason for those complaining is that they disagree with a subject of this nature being aired, it\’s more likely to be because they do not want to acknowledge that things like this DO happen.. If Eastenders are working closely with the NSPCC i do not see why it\’s a problem,if they were not happy with the way the script was written they would say so.If they felt that the way it was being portayed was incorrect in any manner or that it wasn\’t being dealt with in a sensitive way, i doubt it would get aired.. It is a positive step to dealing with a sensitive subject, we should sit up and pay attention this could be happening somewhere near you and it is up to the public o start paying attention and acknowledge that children are at risk and need protecting .

  64. Sam says:

    Oh come on, the only reason they are doing this storyline is for ratings. So ill stay in the minority of not putting Eastenders on a pedastool. They have to research any storyline they do, so the fact they have the NSPPC involved should be a given, they are afterall suppose to be taking it seriously! No matter how much they want to get any kind of word out, its not up to any television show to do a parents job. The reason its had complaints will be because they have to stop they\’re children watching one of their favorite shows, which isnt easy. Eastenders more than any soap completely disregard the watershed! Whats the point of having it if they show material that isnt appropriate!? Its the content more than anything, not the storyline, if Neighbours, who are just as serious as Eastenders tackled the same storyline, they would in an non-sensationalized manner. Thats all Eastenders are about guns, drugs and now this, at 7.30 pm? Come on now!!

  65. Natalie says:

    I think that Eastenders have approached this subject well.  When I was 12 I thought that I was in love with a 29 year old man that claimed he was in love with me also.  He was married with kids (my age) but told me that he didn\’t love his wife and wanted to be with me.  He even took me to his family home on a few occations to play with his kids!  We had a fully sexual relationship and at the time I didn\’t see that it was wrong…afterall I was concenting (so I thought).  He would say things that almost double-bluffed me and kept our secret.  He would say that he wanted to tell my parents about us etc, and even wrote a letter to give them once.  I now look back and feel angry and sick that this went on, and can see how I was \’groomed\’ but although I know where this peadophile is now (18 years on) I wouldn\’t know how to go go about reporting him or whatever…or even if it\’s too late.  I have little to no proof that it all happened.  I think that the Eastenders story will make kids/people realise what might be going on before it\’s too late.   

  66. andrew says:

    i dont think eastenders is going too far with the storyline because people need to no about child abuse, and it could help people who are being abused that dont even no whats going on report their abuser

  67. Nazia says:

    I think it is a crap story line but then again all Eastenders\’s storylines are. I think it is gross though. Eww! Tony isn\’t all that good looking. Whit could go for someone better. What does she see in the guy?

  68. Kiran says:

    Well i Fink It Needz Tu B Shown Wat Some Kids Go Through Ryt Under There Parents Noses
    N Maybe If They Had Shown SomeThing Lyk This Earlier On Maybe Some Kids Wouldv Seen How Rong Dis Iz There Is No Point Ov Complainin If Yu Dnt Lyk It Yu Can Change It Dats Wat Da Remotes Fo ..Duh..
    Sorry Ta Hear Bout Wat Happend Ta Yas Nat-Hastie … x

  69. Unknown says:

    It is a sensitive storyline, but when you see the NSPCC adverts, they show children in fear and in tears at the thought of the person coming near them. In this storyline Whitney is happy to see him and participates freely. It contradicts all the NSPCC information. Plus the age of the character is 15 and seeing her "lover" with her stepmother would invoke jealousy, as any parent of teenagers will know. Yes I do think the issue should be tackled to bring it home to people that it does happen and frighteningly how it is usually someone the family are close to, but I think it should have perhaps had more thought put into the storyline. As previously said, it is shown later at 10pm for those who donot want younger children to see it, and there is always the on/off button.

  70. vicki says:

    I think Eastenders should be applauded again for tackling a difficult subject.
     
    There was all this drama when the Vic got trashed by Jay\’s old crew which i happened to think was brilliantly done – anyone who complained obviously dosn\’t live near a football team with violent supporters as I do (Wolverhampton Wanderers just incase anyone wondered)
     
    Although I\’m thinking perhaps they would have been better tackling it with a younger child – Whitney is 15 and girls of that age would not even consider they were being abused by someone, they would just see it as being in love.
     
    Still, well done Eastenders for having the balls to do it!  Ignore the haters – soaps are supposed to represent real life and boy, is \’real life\’ depressing these days!

  71. Paul says:

    I think that eastenders is gettin alot of abuse which although it is a  disturbing subject, it is in our community too much these days.. i think eastenders were right in using an older teenager as  it does not go into to much depth and with a child it would be to much to bear. the fact tony said " i love you as i did wen u were twelve" is a history but does not show anything…

  72. Unknown says:

    The approach Eastenders is taking with this storyline is admirable. We all know and understand that paedophilia is a truly herrendous thing and yes some people will find this uncomfortable to watch. But it opens eyes. So if anyone watches this and recognises his actions, having gone through it themselves without awareness of the severity of the situation, they will see Eastenders is providing the realisation.
    Before watching this I was guilty to the assumption that paedophilia was more physically aggressive and blatantly an attack that the child would see. Eastenders is showing it isn\’t. That there are more angles to this, that these vile people are very clever and can manipulate anybody to get their want. It is revealing essential clues that can help in the aid of preventing and stopping such actions.
    And to second somebody else\’s comment, if you\’re unhappy with your child watching this, don\’t sit there and let them. That is your parenting that is at fault not Eastenders.

  73. Sorrel says:

    Just to add a lighter note to yet another depressing aspect given the soap treatment.It\’s good to see that they didn\’t choose some actor with \’pin-up\’ style looks to play Tony. With a bit of luck the storyline will culminate in a hurricane hitting the square and with those ears he\’ll be carried off never to be seen again. Another possible alternative could be that Ian Beale and Dot Cotton hatch a plot between them to drug Tony, dress him up as a guy and place him on top of the Albert Square bonfire come November 5th – preferably with a rocket in a certain orifice!What I find a bit unbelievable is that anyone would believe Whitney is only 15! She looks at least her real age, which is 17. At least when Corrie\’s Sarah Lou got pregnant she looked like a 13-year-old!And can someone please tell me why the actress playing Max Brennan\’s sister – who I assume is trying to look sexy, only ends up resembling a cross-eyed constipated llama? She was much better in \’Shameless\’ but just can\’t hack the sexy tart role. Like Corrie\’s Liz Macdonald she\’s just a bit past her sell by date,

  74. linda says:

    i have stopped watching "eastenders". cant bear to watch the "grooming" storyline, it turns my stomach and is very uncomfortable to watch. they ve gone too far this time .

  75. Fayesafine says:

    There are plenty of magazines out which tell the reader what is going on in the soaps for the week. If people were really bothered about what was going on and if it was appropriate, they would read these and therefore their children would not see anything inappropriate. I think that Eastenders DO have the public\’s best interests at heart by getting involved with the NSPCC and yes they probably have done this story line to boost ratings. Children may be exposed to this in real life at any time which is uncontrollable and as a victim of this abuse myself, I think that this show would have given me the confidence to speak out.
     
    Maybe some people wil argue that they should not have to read magazines to find out if the soap content is appropriate, but as more and more of the soaps are including REAL-LIFE situations, such as this rape case, I think that you may have to think again about finding out what is going on in the soaps, IF you think that the soaps way of portraying the subject is inappropriate. But what would be the right way of approaching the subject??????

  76. Angela says:

    How many people are using this \’it\’s innapropriate for the kids\’ argument?
     
    Where were all those people when the Stacey/Bradly/Max/Tanya fiasco was going on?
     
    Eastenders are trying to portray an all too common way of life for too many children, and STILL this society would rather brush it under the carpt than face it. This makes people uncomfortable, and instead of asking why that is, instead of tackling the subject in our homes, we reach for the complaints procedure.
     
    How many kids watched the two-timing, double-crossing, utter betrayal, sordid sex meetings, the plotting to break up an entire family and change the lives of the children in it forever with the Stacey/Max storyline, etc etc… how many parents allowed their kids to watch that in the name of good entertainment?
    What a great example to set to our children. Not only did Stacey do the dirty, spectacularly, on Bradley, but give it a year or two and they\’ll get back together and pick up where they left off… a great example to our children on the consequences of our actions.
     
    I can\’t help thinking that if watching Eastenders really does, as so many parents seem to believe, deeply affect their children and the way they look at the world, I would think that those storylines would be more damaging to their fragile, innocent, impressionable minds.
     
    But, hey, it\’s fun to watch, so who cares?… apparently.
     
    This story, on the other hand, is tackling a subject that I think only serves to help our children. This storyline is in it\’s early stages and makes very uncomfortble viewing (and in my opinion, that probably means they\’re doing it right, it SHOULD be uncomfortable), but I would imagine, this being Eastenders and all, that this story will have a climax, that it will illustrate to the kids out there that no matter how \’right\’ that may feel to a kid in that position, it isn\’t right, it is child abuse, and I hope that Eastenders can show that in such a way that it will have maximum effect, something I think Eastenders has actually been pretty good at in the past.
     
    People want to believe that child abuse involves a big scary abuser who attacks a child and scares them into secrecy… we want to believe that, we don\’t want to believe for a second that our kids could ever be a \’willing\’ participant. Maybe Eastenders has highlighted that finally, and given people something to think about, and maybe even lifted the heavy weight off the shoulders of any of the kids out there watching that know this storyline all too well.
     
    How hard must it be for a child to break the cycle of abuse when they\’re in a position similar to Whitney\’s character?
     
    We need to give our kids a little more credit. Kids are not stupid, give them the chance and I\’m sure they\’ll undertand this storyline and the point of it. It is no more a threat to their innocence than watching Stacey and Max groping one another at every available opportunity was.
    By shielding our kids desperately from this stuff, all we\’re doing is reinforcing that belief among kids that you shouldn\’t talk about sex to your parents, it\’s the forbidden subject, and when it\’s being frantically switched over to any other channel, it reinforces the belief that abuse especially shouldn\’t be talked about.
     
    Imagine being the kid who\’s being abused, sitting in the living room with the Eastenders opening credits rolling, and one of your parents reaching for the remote control muttering the words \’WE\’RE not watching THIS!\’… would that encourage you to talk?
     
    Parents want to approach the subject of abuse on their own terms, in their own time?
    Is this the \’don\’t talk to strangers, and if anyone, even if you know them, ever touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you come and tell me straight away\’ conversation?
    The very one my parents had with me? And the very one that didn\’t work, didn\’t make any difference?
     
    We\’re all so afraid of our kids losing their innocence. Yet we let them watch tv. Even the adverts alone are very sexually provocative, nevermind the latest music videos on MTV that our kids can\’t get enough of.
     
    Seriously, who are we kidding?
     

  77. maggie says:

    i  am  a survivor  of  sex  abuse  so i know  what  happens  men like tony  are  everywhere
    so its best to be forewarned  about them  not everyman  is  a abuser but  the storyline  isnt
    about  paedos  its about  a  young girl  falling in love  with  an    older  man  which  can happen 
    at any time  paedos  prey  on   yougesters   who are looking for   love  and  attention   they  make them
    feel special   their  special friend   then the  secrets  start  thats  when  the  abuse  can start   parents  should  talk to  there  children
    about these  things  i am  the mother  of  4  girls  oldest   34 youngest  9  and i am  always  watching   for signs 
    like  changes in behaviour  having presents   which wasnt  bought   by me   its  a scary  world   but if you  watch  out 
    and  be honest  with  children   thay  will  tell  you anything that  is  bothering them  my 9 year  old   tells   me  everything  good  or bad   we have   to protect  our  children   these  animals  are  clever   and  devious 

  78. matt says:

    I believe that this is a good way to get the message across to young people who are being abused. People who are complaining need to get out of their fantasyland and realise that this is the reality of the world we live in, Deal with it! Well done to the writers of Eastenders, so far the story has been dealt with in a respectful manner. I fully support Eastenders and its writers! Good Job!

  79. Debbie says:

    If think Eastenders have done well with the Whit/Tony storyline, and for the record, the acting has been 1st class, both characters played brilliantly by Shona McGarty and Chris Coghill.   Unfortunetley this does happen in real life and the sooner people stop living their lives through rose tinted glasses the better, its being tastefully done and not seedy, if people dont like what you\’re seeing, then I suggest they change channels.   KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!

  80. Debbie says:

    I so agree with the comment about Suzy, she\’s a dreadful character/actress (not sure which it is), and that ridiculous purple handbag, put it on the bonfire next month.  Maybe Max will shoot her and not Jack or Tanya…writers, take heed!!

  81. leisha says:

    i would like to know are these people that are complaining paedophiles because doesnt every parent want to warn their children about this situation and not hidden from them.  With eastenders alerting this situation, children can have a more understanding of the discusting act some people may do, making them know that this sort of act shouldn\’t be kept hidden but they are encouraged to tell someone if this sort of thing unfortunatly happens to them.  I support eastenders with this storyline all the way! A mother of 4. x

  82. natalie says:

    These complaints are ridiculous. Eastenders is NOT a family programme; it is a soap aimed at adults. It is screened before the watershed so therefore its content has to be monitored but it is not a programme aimed at children; it is an adult programme concerning adult issues that should be of no interest to young children. The viewer who didn\’t want their children to be educated about abuse via Eastenders should not be allowing them to watch it. Pre or post watershed programmes have to be monitiored by parents for very young children and I don\’t see why a soap should have to dilute it\’s content to the likes of CITV so as not to be deemed innapropriate. I think the storyline has been approached well, the scenes are mildly disturbing (a credit to the acting) and the writers have not been distasteful or exaggerative with the content. While I support the fact that the storyline has connections with the NSPCC I think people need to face facts that the storyline hasn\’t been written as a public information video; it is a drama. The aim of the writers is to gain audiences and write real life based entertainment. I would object if the storyline was portrayed unrealisicly as this would be an insult to those who have suffered abuse and a hinderance to those who need help but otherwise I think people need a reality check as to what writing a soap is concerned with.

  83. Rachel says:

    This storyline has been approached very well, it is not too graphic, and shows that young girls can be groomed in to thinking that they \’love\’ their abuser. We constantly hear in the news that the internet is a prime place for paedophiles to groom children and this storyline has shown us it is not always strangers who are a danger to our children. I agree that it is an uncomfortable subject to view, but it isn\’t supposed to be easy viewing. The idea of a paedophile abusing a child is not a comfortable thought. I think that maybe parents need to remember that this is not a childrens show, it is not meant for young children to watch before bedtime. If this saves one child from the abuse Whitney is victim too then the storyline is worthwhile. Well done to the writers and actors for approaching and acting the story so well. I think people need to remember Eastenders is a drama, if scenes like this make the viewers uncomfortable they dont have to watch it, but they would be bored if it was happy families all the time. The fact that they bravely confront important issues in todays society is a plus. Eastenders is not condoning paedophilia just confronting a serious issue and hopefully giving people the courage to step forward if it is happening to them or someone they know.

  84. Rachel says:

    oh and also when a similar story was done with Kat Slater no one complained then… maybe because she knew what Uncle Harry did was wrong? If she had loved Uncle Harry would you complain then?

  85. Theresa says:

    PARENTS WHO ALLOW THEIR CHILDREN TO WATCH EASTENDERS ARE FOOLING THEMSELVES THAT IT\’S A FAMILY SHOW – IT IS NOT!! IT HAS BEEN ON LONG ENOUGH NOW FOR ADULTS TO KNOW IT IS NOT MADE FOR CHILDREN-TURN IT OFF AND DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE – EASTENDERS SHOULD BE PROGRAMMED AFTER 9PM

  86. Ellen says:

    I think Eastenders is doing a brilliant job in tackling a very serious subject. Hopefully abusers and the abused alike will see the effects it has on a person and can seek help. For too long people have been walking around with rose tinted glasses on and pretending that it doesnt happen in their family, it does but help is out there. The only suggestion I would make for the BBC because of the watershed time is to have a message saying viewing may not be suitable for children or the like.

  87. lisa says:

    I would like to start by saying Eastenders is doing a fantastic job in highlighting this kind of abuse.Someone who grooms a child is a very clever and devious character.By making  the child feel like they love the abuser,it gives the abuser more control.We know sexual abuse on children happens in different ways   and  i can understand how  people are upset by this story line but  somthing like this  can teach  teanage girls and boys that there are other types of abuse to watch out for.Its  true to say that most children dont like what is happening to them but in this case she is being manipulated to thinking he loves her  so much and for that reason its ok…If anything i have let my 13 year old daughter watch this story line as i think it shows her exacly what  and how men  get to young girls or boys…I feel by showing a teanager of this age they can understand it , that  it explains much better than just words…..Give Eastenders a chance  to  see where the story line goes and how they deal with him in the end.. Im sure they will  do a good job and  with the nspcc involved they are not gonna let it get out of hand.I bet there are a few children recorgnising  the pattern of  abuse after watching this…..Even if it stops one child from being groomed then it gets my vote.

  88. john says:

    It would appear that the "getting the message accross" idea seems to be common in comments on this matter.  However Eastenders is a pre watershed soap.  Is it really its function to provide messages of any nature.  Surely its purpose should be to entertain the widest audience possible.  What should be uppermost here is that the producers consider that such sensationalist storylines are what they need to to maintain their audience.  It seems a sad reflection on us all that the inclusion of such storylines as abuse, rape, murder etc. under the guise of "getting the message accross" are considered by the producers as their most successful vehicle for maintaining their ratings.

  89. dawn says:

    If they are working closely, with the NSPCC, then I cannot see what the problem is, if anyone is going to sensor this it will be the NSPCC. This is bound to evoke a response, especially unfortunately, with people that think that they can shy away from taboo subjects, bury there heads and pretends its not real. Child Abuse is real. It is part of our society, and if we keep avoiding addressing this, then Child Abuse will increase, the more we hide from it, the better it is for peodeophiles. With regards to comment 453 its not always about getting a message across. Eastenders is supposed to be real life, well Child Abuse is real life.

  90. ben says:

    If you don\’t like it, vote with your finger – turn over!  Even better, "use the red button to interact" – i.e the button usually on the top of the remote…

  91. Edward says:

    I think me ! has stated the obvious! there\’s a switch called off and on.
    That fact is this storyline was known weeks before it was shown, parents then had plenty of time to put the episodes out of bound.
    Kids now day\’s need an illustration of what type of people are out there and the depth\’s they will go to suceed.
     

  92. Unknown says:

    It\’s not so much that the storyline is too "dangerous" a subject to talk about, the six o\’clock news talks about much worst and that’s on a whole three hours before the watershed. The problem with the Eastenders storyline is that it isn\’t being portrayed correctly, as a viewer I was unsure as to who the Tony character was initally as I thought he was Whitney\’s dad (am I the only one?). I think that the writers are not addressing the storyline well and so this controversy subject has erupted. If you look at the credits of Eastenders these days the writers are constantly changing, which means the show lacks consistency and I feel it is the question mark about the show that is causing such a public out cry (some of the names I have noticed are obviously not the names of people above 25… do you know any middle aged women named Brittany?). Eastenders has dealt with many a difficult subject in the past including rape and murder, as the show has always been on at the same time there cannot be any real issue with the fact that this storyline is on, can there? Brookside (remember that?) dealt with similar issues at a similar time of day, was there a public outcry then? I can\’t remember but I doubt it that is because Phil Redmond, the creator of the show, obviously had a talent for conveying serious issues in a way that wasn\’t seen as offensive. He bought that same edgy and willingness to push stories to Hollyoaks, which is who I suspect caused Eastenders to bring back silly characters and introduce stupid storylines.
     
    The real problem is the lack of talent in constructing characters and storylines that are convincing as well as entertaining. I didn\’t realise Whitney was only 15 untill the school year began and if that was the case how did she get the lottery money, when you have to be over 16 to not only play but claim (if the prize is over £75 you have to show i.d proving who you are thats just common knowledge). The Eastenders writers/board are treating the public like idiots and I think that is the real problem. How can Tony be out on early release without being on tag? Its dumb, no its more than that, it’s pathetic.

  93. sadie says:

    As a mother of six, I feel we have a responsibility to keep our children\’s childhood for as long as possible
    Exposing them to the cruel realities of life is a decision to be taken by the parent. I find the remote control useful in this instance turn off!!!!!
    They grow up fast enough!!!!
    sadie   

  94. natalie says:

    okay seriously in the real world, dont we need to know what to look out for? i think eastenders it brilliant for doing these type of scenes. it shows whats really going on in the world. you may not want your children to know about these things but in truth they should.or how are they going to know if it ever happens to them? – think about that.
    Natalie.

  95. hannah-marie says:

    I think the way that Eastenders are dealing with this issue is fantastic. My mum did a wonderful job of what she thought was  sheltering me from programmes and stories like this when I was young, but unfortunately, it was too good a job. I had no idea grooming went on, and unfortunately, I will have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life, that I allowed my ex-best friend\’s husband to get so close to my children. Particularly my daughter. She was 3 at the time she was abused. I was stupid enough to have Bianca\’s attitude, and think this man was fantastic with children. I allowed him to look after my children for an evening, whilst my friend and I went out, (I had known him for 3 years at this point), which is when he chose to strike…
     
    If Eastenders provides an oppurtunity for this to be discussed within the family or even educates other sheltered parents like I was, and allows them to realise what\’s going on in the real world, amongst those we trust with our children, and prevents this from happening to even one more child, then I would say it has done more than its job, and is worth our licence fee.

  96. Rachael says:

    I am just 18 years old and I must admit that my very own parents, if the news or a comedy program touched on something racy or crude, would clear their throats loudly and switch the channel.Having grown up in this environment and having to find out for yourself that this kind of abuse really DOES happen, I think I am in a position to say that being oblivious to this kind of thing at least at an early teenage age does just as much harm (if not more) than good.I never knew what was right or wrong in these senses and grew up quite a confused child until my brain matured and things became (suddenly) clear.Obviously I love my parents… They brought me up spectacularly, and they loved me and did the best for me… But sometimes sheltering a child can do nothing but confuse them and make them worried.  This is coming from mine and my brother\’s experiences.This is why I cannot seem to understand why parents have a problem with this storyline…..  They should accept this disgusting issue (and let it be known that I think this storyline is horrid, but at least realistic) and let their children learn.  Wrapping children in false and pretentious cotton wool is a surefire recipe for disaster.

  97. Gem says:

    I see nothing wrong with this type of storyline. It\’s just that same as any other – something interesting/different to keep viewers watching. It happens in real life all of the time the programme is just bringing the issue to light and I feel that everyone should be aware of what happens. Those people who ignore these types of issues are usually the ones who are most sorry.
    I don\’t why so many people bother complaining – if you don\’t like what you\’re watching then don’t watch the programme it\’s as simple as that. There\’s is no need to make a mountain out of a molehill!

  98. Donald says:

    I dont see what the big deal is people are just over reacting due to everyone seems to think its there place in the world to be politicaly correct …. i think its time to stop hiding your children from the big bad world

  99. Michael says:

    I see my comment was removed regarding you lot that are totally brainwashed enders fanatics being mental. So I will say it again. It people like yourselves who are fooled into believing that extreme forms of TV like this are acceptable that will pave the way for more forms of extremism on TV.One more thing! It is a sad day when people need to be educated on such serious matters via a soap! Stop being lazy and get up off your backsides and educate yourselves then you children!

  100. Aziz says:

    i think its ridiculous, always trying to put the muslims down in one way or another, how about showing something good about muslims for a change. eastenders are running out of ideas so they come up with such stupid storylines.

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