Are there some stories that are just too sensitive for soap operas to cover? In relation to examples taken from the television and radio.
<ul><li>Soap operas are needed to connect with the audience in a way that makes the audience fully believe that the soap opera is real life. </li></ul><ul><li>Soap operas have to connect with the audience in a way in which the channel is able to sustain a loyal audience. </li></ul><ul><li>The Soap Opera is at the heart of popular culture. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Soap Operas have undertaken a realistic function in their representation of British Society” </li></ul>Soap Operas
<ul><li>Soaps should be able to allow the audience to escape from their own lives and and immerse themselves in the characters lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Soaps have proven to be so successful due to the stories and characters being so relatable to the target audience. </li></ul><ul><li>This can be seen as why some subjects are too sensitive for Soap operas… </li></ul>Soap Operas
<ul><li>Danielle was introduced as a young girl whose parents had just died and she was looking for a new start. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact she was Ronnie’s presumed dead daughter. </li></ul><ul><li>When Ronnie found out that she was her daughter Danielle was killed. </li></ul><ul><li>This story received complaints as the audience liked Ronnie’s character. </li></ul>Eastenders – Danielle Death storyline 2008/09
Eastenders- Cot Death/Baby Stealing Storyline 2011 The controversial storyline sees Ronnie finding her baby James dead from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She is then seen swapping her dead child for the alive son of Kat Moon • Received over 8000 complaints to OFCOM. Most complained about Soap Storyline just ahead of the storyline of Danielle Jones’ death which received 7000 complaints. • Audience called the storyline “sick”, “disturbing” and “filmed in a tasteless way”.
<ul><li>Presenter Anne Diamond also complained about the storyline, she felt that the storyline was not “a good way at informing the public about a serious issue that is Cot Death”. Anne Diamond suffered the loss of her child to Cot Death in 1991. </li></ul>Eastenders- Cot Death/Baby Stealing Storyline 2011
Rape on Coronation Street Coronation Street was criticised by a TV regulator for failing to offer a viewer helpline after the traumatic rape of Toyah Battersby. Ten viewers complained to the Independent Television Commission that the only help offered after the show was on the Granada website. This is the shocking scene which viewers of Coronation Street will see after barmaid Toyah Battersby is raped. The images are the most harrowing shown in the 40-year history of the soap opera.
Rape on Coronation Street The storyline is reported to have caused controversy on the set with many former stars believing it is too distressing to show and is not in line with the soap's tradition. Georgia Taylor, (Toyah) defended the decision to include the rape and said it could help girls facing the same horror in their lives to speak out and seek help. 'There are many women out there who have been raped or sexually assaulted and we owe it to them to make sure that the story-line is handled sensitively and accurately”
<ul><li>Some controversy due to the fact that there were multiple similarities to the Clyde deaths in which 2 teenage girls made a suicide pact by jumping into the river which is what the Hollyoaks writers had planned on creating the story around. </li></ul>Broadcast on Hollyoaks, to highlight Teen suicide and schizophrenia.
<ul><li>The story is about the character Newt who was attempting to end his life with his "friend" Rae who infact is a figment of his imagination. The writers went ahead in producing the episode even though there was multiple disputes due to respect the mourning of the teenage girls family. However they did show the storyline, and it raised awareness and support for Schizophrenia. </li></ul>
Soap operas cover these stories so that they can inform their audiences about issues that are relevant at the time. However some of the stories covered get brushed aside so the show can continue with a storyline. This then gives the audience a reason to complain. As soaps differ in their target audience the stories they cover change and the way they cover them also changes. We believe that there are some stories that could be deemed too sensitive, but it all depends on whether the issue is relevant at the time of broadcast. Conclusion