Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Corrie boss admits mistakes were made in rape storyline

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog in February 2012.)

Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson has admitted that mistakes were made in the portrayal of Carla Connor's rape storyline.

The BBC have the full report after Phil Collinson spoke at the annual conference of St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester.

Corrie was criticised for portraying rape victim Carla Connor being confronted by her attacker outside the court.

Phil said: "I do agree that there were some procedural things in the court that we did get wrong. In a show like ours, we are constantly balancing the needs of the drama against the needs of accuracy, and I suppose I would have to agree that there were some procedural things in the court that our attention has been drawn to subsequently and I can only apologise for that. I have to stand by the story that we told and I think we did a good thing in the main."

The Rape Crisis helpline said it saw an 800% increase in calls after the attack - by Frank Foster on his girlfriend and business partner Carla, was aired last September.

But scenes showing Frank confronting Carla, played by Alison King, outside court had deterred some real victims from going to court, St Mary's said. The Centre's Bernie Ryan said: "We have to put a lot of reassurance into the fact that it was a dramatisation of a courtroom event and that there are support services to make sure they don't come across the perpetrator and are supported throughout the court process."

Phil Collinson said that Corrie "sent out a very clear message" by unambiguously portraying Frank, played by Andrew Lancel, as a rapist. But he admitted that an earlier assault on Maria Connor, played by Samia Smith, had divided the show's writing team.

"I was astonished. Even around our conference table, a very fiery debate happened about that night - literally, some of the writers saying that it wasn't an attempted rape. I really believe that we said right from the beginning that it was."

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