BSC Upholds Complaints About Eastenders

03 Apr 2000  |  MediaTel Staff 

The Broadcasting Standards Commission has upheld complaints about an episode of Eastenders which depicted drunken behaviour, drug-taking and sexual innuendo. The offending episode concerned a combined "hen" and "stag" weekend in Amsterdam which went "beyond acceptable boundaries" according to the standards body.

The BBC defended the episode, broadcast on 16 December last year, by claiming it was "consistent with the programme's tradition of dealing with adult themes in a way that was suitable for a general audience". The corporation added that the behaviour depicted conformed to the Eastenders tradition of showing that questionable conduct leads to further trouble. Thus, one character's quest for drugs led to embarrassment and nausea, and a drinking binge led to the calling off of one wedding and darkened the prospects of another.

The Standards Commission, however, while acknowledging the gritty style of the soap, considered that in this particular episode "the portrayal of drunken behaviour, sexual innuendo and drug-taking had been almost relentless."

It said that the offending scenes had pushed the content beyond acceptable boundaries for a programme broadcast before the watershed.

Complaints were also upheld about an episode of Goodness Gracious Me, in which the Eucharist was mocked, and alternative radio station Xfm, which played a song from the South Park Christmas album which one listener found offensive.

Broadcasting Standards Commission: 020 7233 0544

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