Coronation Street is one of the longest-running soap operas in the U.K. It premiered in December 1960 and has aired nearly 10,000 episodes since. Well, this week, the show tackled one of its most controversial topics to date: male rape.
In the scenes, series newcomer Josh Tucker drugs and sexually assaults beloved series regular David Platt. The storyline has caused quite a stir on social media, and has generated over 100 complaints to the network.
But it’s also caused a 1700% increase in calls from survivors of sexual assault seeking help from a local non-profit.
Ryan Clayton, who plays Josh, tells the BBC he “can’t stress the importance enough” of why stories like this need to be told.
“The great thing, with whatever soap is covering it, is you’ve got millions of people tuning into a program,” he says.
Of course, the decision to tackle such a serious topic wasn’t made lightly.
Related: Disabled man beaten and raped by five men bravely speaks out, “I want them to be found”
Producers sought the advice of Duncan Craig, who runs the non-profit Survivors Manchester, a support network for survivors of sexual assault, on developing story–from the moment the idea was discussed, to the day it was filmed, and even in the editing process.
“I wanted it to be like real life,” Craig says. “Not the rape on Friday, telling the police on Monday and punishing the perpetrator on Tuesday.”
He continues, “I thought we had a real opportunity to show that rape can happen to anyone.”
Craig highlights the fact that David is straight and is raped by a man whose sexuality is unknown. In many instances, Craig notes, it is assumed that the rapist is gay, when that may not always be the case.
“It was [also] important that David was not raped by a stranger because that story’s been told in drama a few times,” he adds. “Victims are more likely to know the perpetrator.”
Related: Male rape victims share their harrowing stories in this powerful new documentary
As an actor, Clayton says, filming the storyline took a lot.
“Obviously I knew it was a lot to take on,” he says. “I knew the storyline would be massive but particularly as an actor, I’ve never really shied away from anything, I like to take on a challenge.”
Watch the controversial scene below.
Truth is sometimes too painful to accept. Men have used drugs and/or alcohol for centuries to sexually abuse women and men. A cautionary tale for men to be aware of the fact that being a man does not exempt you from exploitation.
Women have also used drugs to assault and rob men.
Yes, because one has such a raging hard-on when one is drugged and passed out. Those girls will just ride you like a pony.
SMH. Heterosexual troll and his fantasy.
Actually predatory drugging is common for more reasons that just rape and theft. A lot of people, especially college students and adolescents, do it because they think it is fun. It’s a pretty disgusting country we live in.
Believe it or not there are other countries where rape and torture are the norm.
It’s a pretty disgusting world we live in. The US has swept these events under the rug. No longer.
I guess that actually showing the rape scene as the British public got to see it was too extreme for domestic production in the U.S.A. Since nudity doesn’t seem to daunt anyone these days, that surprises me a bit, but this particular rape scene seems to have had some positive results in the context and location in Britain in which it was presented… RobtheElder
The headline is a bit OTT. Considering the number of viewer Corrie gets every episode (about 7.8 million) I hardly think 100 complaints constitutes “under fire” by any stretch of the imagination.
Since there have been serial killers in the UK using the same drugging MO in the gay community there, theRe couldn’t be enough of these story lines out there. People forget rape isn’t sex.
The producers can profess social responsibility all they want, but it’s obvious the series has been spiralling downward into ever more lurid and sensational stories for years, motivated by nothing more or less than the desperation to maintain ratings.
Re: OzJosh: so, maybe the show was becoming stale and usual, so like any good business venture, the producers tried a theme that would bring in more viewers, and worked down another avenue. So, maybe there bottom line was increased, but that is not to dismiss that they helped open a door to a much dismissed subject matter. I do not have a TV and thus do not know the subjects of any of these articles, but find I learn much by reading articles and seeing your responses.
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