Emmerdale boss defends controversial attack scene

The dramatic scenes had some fans reporting ITV to a TV watchdog

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Emmerdale boss Iain MacLeod has responded to who those viewers who thought it wasn’t appropriate to air a shocking attack scene before the watershed,

On Monday’s episode, Pierce Harris, played by Jonathan Wrather, assaulted Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) after he spiralled into a jealous rage just hours after their wedding.

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The attack itself was not shown but was “implied”.

As a result, Ofcom, the media watchdog received 62 audience complaints.

But Iain MacLeod has defended his decision to run the storyline, maintaining that soaps have a “responsibility to cover hard-hitting subjects”.

He also explained that viewers had been given warnings about the content of the show and that the content of the episode was “very heavily flagged” over the months that the story went on.

“I felt that it was… truthful, unbelievably well acted from Jonathan and Zoe and I totally stand by it,” Iain says.

“I regret any offence that anyone took by it but I think it was an important story to tell and the issue of marital rape in particular is something that I don’t feel I’ve seen presented that frequently in soap, and that’s why I think it was really important that we saw it.”

In spite of his confidence that the story had to be told, he did admit that he’d found it “nerve-wracking” to broadcast the scenes because it was “very dark territory”.

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“We’ve had direct communication from people who said this echoes closely with my own experiences and you know, they were very pleased and moved that we had covered that subject area.”

It has been reported that after the show as aired, there was a spike in women calling rape crisis centres to talk about issues they were dealing with.