Poldark rape scene sparks Ofcom complaints

first_imgPoldark appears to force himself on Elizabeth Credit:BBC "You would not dare," she tells him Eleanor Tomlinson and Aiden Turner as husband and wife, Demelza and Ross Eleanor Tomlinson and Aiden Turner as husband and wife, Demelza and RossCredit:BBC “To be more precise – in the novel Warleggan, the point of departure for the relevant scene is indeed consistent with the potential for rape. But what then actually happens is not described but is left entirely to one’s imagination.”The only way to judge what my father intended is to read the novels as a whole. Doing so it becomes clear, from earlier scenes as well as from Elizabeth’s immediate reactions and later mixed emotions, that what finally happened was consensual sex born of long-term love and longing. She added: “However, as programme makers, we needed to decide what the audience would actually see. And, as far as possible, to bring to life what the original author intended the scene to depict.”We were fortunate to have Winston Graham’s son Andrew as our consultant on the series so we were able to clarify with him what his father’s intentions for this scene were. What you saw on screen is consistent with what we believe those intentions to have been.” Heidi Reed plays Elizabeth Heidi Reed plays ElizabethCredit:BBC “It was, as Aidan Turner has put it, ‘unfinished business emotionally’.”Debbie Horsfield, Poldark screenwriter, said no two readers would imagine a scene the same way, and that is particularly true of this scene as the action is left entirely to the reader’s imagination. Television viewers have complained to Ofcom over what critics describe as a rape scene in BBC period drama Poldark.The media watchdog confirmed it has had seven complaints so far following Sunday night’s episode, with 17 complaints direct to the BBC.An Ofcom spokesman said the complaints would be assessed “before deciding whether to investigate or not.”In the episode, Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, turns up unannounced at the house of his former fiancee Elizabeth, played by Heida Reed.He kicks in the door and demands that she cancels her wedding to his enemy George Warleggan. Poldark appears to force himself on Elizabeth center_img Heidi Reed and Aiden Turner star in PoldarkCredit:BBC Sarah Green, co-director at charity End Violence Against Women, said: “It is definitely portrayed very much as a rape.”The female character says ‘no’ and there are also non-verbal signs. She is moving away from him and pulling away from him. There is lots of stuff that is ambiguous.”She added: “The directors have done something really ambiguous. It is a really appalling message, which is they have made the representation of non-consensual sex ambiguous by making her appear to change her mind.”Asked why she thought this was the case, Ms Green continued: “The problem the producers have found, because this character is extremely popular, they can’t represent him as that, they can’t represent him as doing something criminal.” The show has not shied away from intimate scenesCredit:BBC The show has not shied away from intimate scenes She ignores what he says and instead asks him to leave, prompting him to take her face in his hands and forcefully kiss her.When she pushes him away and insists she loves George, he forces another kiss on her before looking at the bed.Elizabeth tells Poldark: “You will not dare. You will not dare.”He replies: “I would Elizabeth. I would and so will you.”The lead character then pushes her on to the bed and she appears to finally give in to him. Poldark, based on the novels of Winston Graham, was originally made for TV in the 1970s when it attracted audiences of 15 million and the remake has helped BBC1 to its highest share of an audience in a decade.Commenting on the controversial scene, Mr Graham’s son Andrew said: “There is no ‘shock rape’ storyline in the novels. To say so is to misconstrue my father’s text. The BBC has cut nothing and Mammoth Screen’s portrayal of these scenes is entirely true to my father’s writing. Heidi Reed and Aiden Turner star in Poldark “You would not dare,” she tells himCredit:BBC Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Compensation for antiEDL activists detained by police reaches £729000

Tommy Robinson was among 300 people arrested at the march under public order laws Tommy Robinson was among 300 people arrested at the march under public order lawsCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Internal police documents reportedly show that two undercover officers were deployed to spy on anti-fascist campaigners at the demonstration.The covert officers are said to have been arrested along with the activists so they could disappear. Kevin Blowe, the coordinator of the civil liberties group The Network for Police Monitoring, said: “Their role was surveillance on a new and emerging anti-fascist movement – its size, structures, allies and prominent members.”Scotland Yard said: “The Met will neither confirm nor deny the deployment of undercover officers during any specific event or operation. “The covert nature of undercover policing is central to its effectiveness.”An inquiry led by retired judge Sir John Mitting is currently investigating how undercover officers have gathered information on more than 1,000 political groups since 1968. The groups include anti-racist campaigners, environmentalists, left wing groups and the far-right. Scotland Yard has paid out £729,000 in compensation to activists who claimed they were unlawfully detained while marching against the English Defence League (EDL).The campaigners said they were arrested and held for up to 14 hours while they were opposing an EDL demonstration in Whitechapel, East London, on 7 September 2013.Tommy Robinson, who founded the EDL but left the group after the protest in October 2013, was among 300 people arrested at the march under public order laws.The EDL had intended to march to an East London mosque and violent clashes broke out between their members and opposition groups during the protest.Two groups of anti-fascist campaigners were surrounded and detained by police who said they had to take action to “prevent an imminent breach of the peace”.But the force has now agreed to pay 153 activists who claimed they were unlawfully detained an average of £5,000 each in out of court settlements, according to The Guardian.Some of the claimants said they were humiliated and prevented from using the toilet or getting food and water for hours before being taken to police stations and released. The Met confirmed it had settled the claims without admitting liability. A further 28 cases are yet to be resolved. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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