Most complained about soap plots of 2022 – Emmerdale fury to ‘disgusting’ racism

Soaps have continued to entertain the nation over the course of 2022.

While there's been some happy moments, more often or not the characters of our favourite British serial dramas have been faced with trauma and heartbreak.

Writers try to tackle taboo subjects in a bid to make what viewers see on the shows as close to real-life as possible.

READ MORE: Corrie stars who sound different in real life – Carla Connor to Becky McDonald

However, the hard-hitting plots don't always go down well with fans watching from their sofas at home.

As we head into 2023, Daily Star has taken a look back at some of the controversial storylines which rubbed up viewers the wrong away after the past 12 months.

'Disgusting' racism storyline

Coronation Street was hit with Ofcom complaints last month over a racism storyline which some viewers have called "disgusting".

The ITV soap received 139 complaints from angry viewers on November 16, which they said "related to the racial violence storyline".

Youngster Max Turner (Paddy Bever) is currently being radicalised by Griff Reynolds (Michael Condron) and has already targetted newcomer Daryan Zahaw (Twana Omer).

The teen was showed a disturbing propaganda film against Muslims ahead of him defending his girlfriend against Alya Nazir (Sair Khan) after she came to him concerned about Lauren's (Cait Fitton) racist behaviour.

Kidnap hell

Emmerdale was hit with over 70 complaints in February this year due to serial killer Meena Jutla's (Paige Sandhu) dark kidnap and shooting scenes.

Upset fans were critical of the ITV soap for dragging out the storyline but the evil nurse was finally jailed earlier this year.

The broadcasting watchdog company said at the time that they'd received 78 complaints in relation to the Valentine's Day episodes which saw Meena take Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) and Dawn Taylor ( Olivia Bromley) hostage.

Killer Meena backlash

Unhappy Emmerdale fans rushed to Ofcom after watching villain Meena attempt to murder her sister Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) and Vinny Dingle (Bradley Johnson) in January.

She had already murdered Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger), Andrea Tate (Anna Nightingale) and Ben Tucker (Simon Lennon) and was determined to add more names to her hit list.

However, some viewers felt the scenes were too much, and claimed to have "switched off" from watching.

According to Ofcom's report, the serial drama received 60 complaints about the scenes that aired on January 12.

'Inaccurate portrayal'

EastEnders viewers were left furious during a storyline which involved social workers, with some suggesting that they were disappointed by their "inaccurate portrayal".

Ofcom has received 193 complaints in September after viewers watched Linda Carter's (Kellie Bright) heartbreak as Janine Butcher's (Charlie Brooks) nasty scheming led to her daughter, baby Annie, being taken away from her.

Janine managed to plant empty bottles of alcohol where Linda was staying with Annie after the social services were called to visit them.

One fan penned: "As if they took baby Annie cos she had one off bruises. Half of Walford saw her fall over whilst attempting to walk, bit unrealistic."

Male rape horror

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The dark storyline which focused on the rape of EastEnders bad boy Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden), and its devastating aftermath, divided viewers back in the summer.

With many praising the harrowing performances of Max Bowden and Aidan O’Callaghan, who played attacker Lewis Butler, the episodes sought to raise awareness and discussion around the topic.

However, others felt it went much too far, with scenes of violence being difficult to watch and the storyline as a whole being deemed ‘too dark’ for the pre-watershed soap.

The rape was not shown on screen but it still led to 353 complaints being lodged officially with the BBC in relation to the episodes.


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