Samantha Womack, the actress who plays Ronnie Mitchell in the hugely popular BBC One soap EastEnders is to leave the show, in the midst of the mass controversy of her character’s current cot death storyline.
Womack confirmed her exit to journalists waiting outside her London home, but an explanation was absent. “I understand why there has been a lot of anger and complains about the story line. I can confirm I am leaving the show, but other than that I can’t really say,” she told reporters. Despite this, Womack insisted in a press release by the BBC that the decision had nothing to do with the storyline. Seems difficult to believe!
The actress was looking stressed and troubled as she returned to her home last night, as it seems the rapidly increasing heat on the programme’s storyline has got the best of her.
The BBC have recently found themselves in deep trouble thanks to the storyline, in which Ronnie’s (played by Womack) new born baby dies, and she secretly swaps him with another character, Kat’s baby, who was born on the same day. Before the scenes had even aired the storyline was gaining controversy, but now it is one of the show’s most furiously debated storylines in history. Over 6000 complaints have been sent into the BBC, and producers at the show have made the tough decision to shorten the story, even though it is likely to still carry on into spring.
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EastEnders is famous for tackling tough issues in the past, but it is amongst the belief of many that they have handled this extremely sensitive topic in a bad way, including former TV host Miss Diamond, who lost her son Sebastian from cot death 20 years ago. She told the Daily Mail: “I was worried it would be shocking, but I was revolted. Many cot death parents I have spoken to are. They are milking a tragedy.”
It has also recently emerged that the team of writers for the show were reluctant to take part in the story, which raises the question, why was it not handled more sensitively?
Is Samantha right for leaving the show? Were EastEnders right for tackling such an issue? Let us know your views in the comments below.
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