Coronation Street could face an Ofcom investigation after viewers complained about the harrowing Bethany Platt sex ring storyline.
The hard-hitting scenes, which were aired pre-watershed, show 16-year-old Bethany seemingly pimped out by her much older boyfriend Nathan Curtis.
Viewers took to social media to express their disgust at the ‘uncomfortable scenes’ on Wednesday night and it is now alleged that the soap may face an Ofcom investigation over the complaints.
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Harrowing: Ofcom could launch an investigation into Coronation Street‘s handling of the Bethany Platt sex ring storyline, it has been reported. Bethany, played by Lucy Fallon (pictured), was seemingly pimped out by her much older boyfriend Nathan Curtis in Wednesday’s episode
According to The Sun, the regulatory body commented: ‘We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate’.
MailOnline has contacted Ofcom for further information.
In the Wednesday night episode, Nathan, played by Christopher Harper, showed off his schoolgirl lover Bethany, played by Lucy Fallon, to his male friends.
In the offending scenes, Nathan dressed Bethany in a red minidress which made her look much older than her 16 years.
He then invited her around to his friend’s flat for a gathering with his male friends.
Disturbing: In the episode, which was aired pre-watershed, Nathan manipulated Bethany into wearing a red minidress which made her look much older than her 16 years
Grooming: The offending storyline invite his schoolgirl lover around to his friend’s flat for a gathering where his friends ogled the 16-year-old
Dodgy friend: After expressing his interest in the blonde, Nathan winked and told his friend it ‘wasn’t the right time’, adding ‘I promise you – when she’s ready, you’ll be the first to know’
Inappropriate: When naive Bethany enthused how nice his friends were, Nathan replied, ‘Trust me, they’ll love you when they get to know you’
Nathan asked his friend, ‘You having a good time?’ to which the creepy man replied, ‘She’s certainly dressed the part.’
After expressing his interest in the blonde, Nathan winked and told his friend it ‘wasn’t the right time’, adding ‘I promise you – when she’s ready, you’ll be the first to know.’
When naive Bethany enthused how nice his friends were, Nathan replied, ‘Trust me, they’ll love you when they get to know you.’
Fans of the ITV soap took to social media in their droves to express their horror at the hard-hitting storyline.
One said: ‘I know they’ve got to do storylines that bring awareness to things but this whole Bethany/Nathan thing gives me the creeps. #corrie.’
‘Creepy’: For months, Bethany has been manipulated by her older boyfriend Nathan
Complaints: Viewers complained about the ‘sick’ storyline on Twitter. ‘Nathan and his mates make me sick’, one person posted
Difficult to watch: Viewers expressed their disgust at the ‘uncomfortable’ scenes
‘Not for young viewing’: Other viewers were concerned the scenes had aired before the watershed
Another posted: ‘Nathan and his mates make me sick I don’t wanna watch while this storyline is on, it makes me feel too uncomfortable. #Corrie.’
A third commented: ‘The Nathan & Bethany storyline in Coronation Street makes me feel sick to my stomach and uneasy.’
And other viewers were concerned the scenes had aired before the watershed, questioning whether they were too much for young children.
‘Surely #Corrie has to go post-watershed with this Bethany story-line, not for young viewing,’ one fan posted.
Speaking out: Lucy Fallon, who plays Bethany, recently admitted she finds the scenes uncomfortable to watch when she was interviewed on Lorraine
A Coronation Street spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Bethany’s story has been crafted over many months, to create an awareness for viewers about the dangers of grooming.
‘Her journey has begun in a way many young people will recognise: through feelings of low self-worth.
‘Bethany’s story is a challenging watch, but we hope it will encourage open discussion amongst friends and families about self-esteem, confidence and most importantly, safety.’
Lucy Fallon, who is the 21-year-old actress that plays Bethany, recently admitted she finds the scenes uncomfortable to watch.
Speaking on Lorraine last month about one particular intimate scene, the actress said: ‘I haven’t actually watched it yet because it does make me feel quite uncomfortable as it does for a lot of the viewers.’
She added: ‘But it’s so important that we do it, especially at the this time because we’re targeting people who watch Coronation Street who are young.’
Lucy spoke about the scene in question during the TV appearance, where she was joined by co-star Chris.
Filming: The actress was seen heading to film her first encounter with Nathan’s friend Neil
‘He takes her to his flat where there a quite a lot of men there. We did a scene that was so uncomfortable; it was horrible’, she said.
The duo revealed they had researched the storyline with the NSPCC where they had met people who had gone through similar situations.
‘We met with the NSPCC and a girl called Lucy who told us her story,’ she told presenter Helen Skelton who is standing in for Lorraine Kelly this week.
‘It was absolutely horrific and that made us so determined to do this story right for the people that this has happened to and that it is happening to.’
‘It made both of us so determined to tell this story,’ added Chris. ‘It’s so important that we get it right.’
Raising awareness: ‘It’s so important that we do it, especially at the this time because we’re targeting people who watch Coronation Street who are young’