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Eastenders defends gay sex scene next to corpse

Joe Williams July 21, 2015

The show’s producers have spoken out after viewers complained about a gay sex scene set in a funeral parlour.


Last Friday’s scenes – which featured characters Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid) and newcomer Paul Coker (Jonny Labey), kissing in their underwear next to a corpse – warranted a number of complaints from disgruntled viewers.

Ofcom have since reported receiving complaints from nearly fifty people, with a spokesperson for the TV broadcaster saying: “We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not.”

Many viewers claimed that the scenes were “disrespectful”, with one viewer claiming the scenes made him “feel ill”.

Another viewer – who seemed to have forgotten that Ben Mitchell is, in fact, a work of fiction – wrote: “Ben Mitchell you have No respect for anyone S****g in a funeral parlour who in their right mind would do a thing like that?”

However, despite the complaints, the shows bosses have sprung to its defence.

A spokeswoman for the show said: “The millions of regular EastEnders fans who tune in each week know and expect dramatic story lines.

“We are always mindful of our time slot in which we are shown and the scenes in question were implied and not explicit.”

The two actors have yet to comment – however this is not the first time the pair have received complaints due to their on screen romance.

Last month, Reid responded to fans who tweeted their disgust after his character first locked lips with Labey’s.

A number of Twitter users said they were “disgusted” with the pre-watershed kiss, claiming it was “out of order” and “disgusting”.

Responding to the tweets, Reid shared a picture on Instagram of infamous gangster Ronnie Kray, who was openly bisexual.

He wrote: “It’s upsetting to read the negative tweets about the gay kiss in last night’s episode of @bbceastenders, I only want to ask one question.

“Would you of called Ronnie Kray disgusting? #whatwouldronniesay”

He added: “Note: I’m not biting, it just needed pointing out;)”

EastEnders also announced plans earlier this year to introduce the first major transgender character in the soap’s history.

More: BBC, Ben Mitchell, complaints, EastEnders, eastenders gay kiss, Harry Reid, Jonny Labey, Ofcom, Television

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