In last week’s scenes, Ben was raped by attacker Lewis Butler.
The scenes have been part of a pre-announced storyline which the soap hopes will raise awareness of male rape.
However the BBC has released a statement after fans complained the scenes were too much for pre-watershed viewing.
What did EastEnders fans say?
One wrote: “Is it just me or foes anyone else think that Ben’s rape was so violent that it should have gone out after the watershed… or at least had a warning for parents with younger viewers in the room?”
Is it just me or does anyone else think that Ben's rape was so violent that it should have gone out after the watershed..or at least had a warning for parents with younger viewers in the room? #Eastenders
— Basil the ginger cat #votelabour (@PaulineAllies) May 24, 2022
A second said: “I guess the TV watershed doesn’t exist anymore then?”
#Eastenders I guess the TV watershed doesn't exist any more then?
— Colin Wibbley (@colinwibbley) May 23, 2022
Another said: “Just watched and I’m sorry but that did go too far for before 9pm.
“That would’ve been harrowing even at 10/11pm.”
Just watched and I’m sorry but that did go to far for before 9pm. That would have been harrowing even at 10/11pm. #EastEnders
— Skye (@SkylarTwisty) May 23, 2022
How did the BBC respond?
In a statement to respond to official complaints, the BBC reminded viewers that EastEnders has always been at the forefront of tackling serious issues.
The BBC stated: “EastEnders has been a pre-watershed BBC One staple for over 37 years and has a rich history of dealing with challenging and difficult issues and Ben’s story is one of these.
EastEnders has been a pre-watershed BBC One staple for over 37 years.
“We have worked closely with organisations and experts in the field to tell the story which we hope will raise awareness of sexual assaults and the issues surrounding them.
“We are always mindful of the timeslot in which EastEnders is shown and we have took great care to signpost this storyline prior to transmission, though on-air continuity and publicity as well as providing a BBC Action Line at the end of the episode which offers advice and support to those affected by the issue.”
EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.
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