Emmerdale producer responds to biphobia backlash over Robert Sugden cheating
Emmerdale producer Iain MacLeod has spoken out about criticism of the show’s bisexuality coverage.
The show has faced considerable criticism for its depiction of character Robert Sugden’s bisexuality.
The backlash began in March after Sugden cheated on his husband Aaron Dingle, sleeping with his old flame Rebecca White.
This caused upset among fans who have followed the “Robron” relationship since 2015.
There was also anger from viewers who felt the plot perpetuated common negative stereotypes about bisexuality, such as promiscuity and untrustworthiness.
MacLeod spoke on Wednesday at the Royal Television Society panel ‘LGBTQ in Soap: Job Done?’
“We took the view with the character of Robert that his sexuality was low on the list of things that were most interesting about him.
“He’s devious, manipulative and self-serving and has been since birth,” he said.
What about the bi community? “Just because I’m bi doesn’t mean I will cheat..” cheats on hubby weeks after wedding with a woman #Ignorance
— Mad Hatter (@Gothloretta) July 4, 2017
MacLeod said it was a case of the editorial team forgetting about sexuality when writing plots, but said the backlash has made them realise they may need to reconsider.
“It’s forced us to reassess how do we deal with characters, and should we consider their sexuality more prominently when telling stories?” MacLeod said.
More from PinkNews
I get so tired of ppl from privileged groups acting like representation of minorities isn’t important at all???
— Claudia Boleyn (@ClaudiaBoleyn) July 12, 2017
Joe Parkinson, a writer on the show, defended the plotline back in March.
“His bisexuality isn’t why he cheats,” he said on Twitter.
“It’s irrelevant. Cheating is in all soaps and isn’t dependent on their sexuality.”
The show will continue to explore the aftermath of Robert’s cheating in tonight’s double bill at 7pm on ITV.