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Ofcom to take no action over Downton Abbey rape plot

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

Story by Jack Foley

BROADCASTING watchdog Ofcom will take no action against Downton Abbey over its rape storyline.

The surprise turn of events, which saw Joanne Froggatt’s maid Anna attacked during a party, received 244 complaints from viewers and hit the headlines with many complaining that it was not in keeping with the show’s family orientated storylines.

But Ofcom has announced that it has decided not to pursue the complaints “after careful assessment… because they did not raise issues warranting investigation”.

The scene in question took place behind closed doors and was not exploitative in any way – rather it shocked, as it should have done.

A warning, which Ofcom is also thought to have taken into account, also alerted viewers to the upsetting scenes ahead of the broadcast of the episode, which was seen by an audience of almost 12 million.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has already defended the storyline and its treatment, insisting it was neither gratuitous nor sensationalist and telling the BBC: “Downton deals in subjecting a couple of characters per series to a very difficult situation and you get the emotions that come out of these traumas.”

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And Froggatt also maintained she was proud of the storyline. Read more

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