EastEnders' Karen’s anti-vaxx row is the most complained about moment in TEN years on the soap
EASTENDERS' anti-vaccine row has become the most complained about moment from the soap in TEN years.
Last week, Karen Taylor proudly announced she was an anti-vaxxer and insisted she "wouldn't have any of that rubbish pumped into me".
The soap favourite was shut down by her horrified neighbours Suki Panesar and Patrick Trueman, who argued the coronavirus jab made them feel "invincible".
Now the BBC has received 684 complaints from viewers who felt the storyline was "inappropriate and biased against people who do not want/cannot have the Covid vaccine".
The number of people up in arms about the moment makes it the soap's most complained about moment since 2011.
But the BBC has fiercely defended the script in a statement, saying: “EastEnders, whilst a fictional drama, has a long tradition of reflecting real life and this exchange aimed to reflect the conversations that some people in Britain are having."
Despite hundreds of viewers being upset over the so-called "bias" script on the soap, EastEnders' controversial baby swap plot in 2011 is still miles ahead with more than 13,000 complaints.
Some viewers called it “distressing” and “horrific” when Ronnie Branning swapped her baby for the dead son of Kat Moon – but Ofcom ruled the scenes were not "unduly disturbing”.
In 2015, EastEnders' aired the harrowing story of Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter, played by Kellie Bright, being raped.
A total of 250 complaints were made to the BBC – and 90 offended fans took it further by contacting Ofcom about the scenes shown before the watershed.
But Ofcom said graphic content had been avoided and warnings given to viewers.
Three years later, 181 viewers were unhappy about violent scenes showing Phil Mitchell torturing Jack Branning after becoming convinced he had been sleeping with his wife Sharon.
The gory moment aired at 7.30pm and saw Jack covered in blood, doused in petrol and threatened with a gun.
While most fans would not be surprised by Phil's antics, some viewers were taken aback and the BBC’s latest stats show that the moment led to nearly 200 complaints.
The latest controversial moment aired last Monday when Patrick burst into the Minutemart and told shopkeeper Suki that he felt like he’d won the lottery by receiving his second dose of the Covid vaccine.
Suki congratulated Patrick and told him she was due to have her first dose later that day.
“I’m calling it my superpower, makes me that little bit more invincible,” she told him, as Patrick gushed: “Science is a wonderful thing.”
But when Karen said: “Rather you than me," she was looked at in disgust by Suki who asked her if she was “one of those anti-vaxxers”.
Karen replied: “You must admit they pushed it through too quick. Lab rats, that’s what we are. No I ain’t having any of that rubbish pumped into me.”
She added: “Who knows what it’s going to do to us in five years' time.”
BBC viewers must complain to the channel first before escalating their issue to TV regulator Ofcom
If they are left "dissatisfied" with the final response from the BBC, the viewer can then approach Ofcom.
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