The many EE threads

(1125 Posts)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Jan-11 10:35:54

Hi LunaticFringe,
I think the best thing might be to send a letter to the BBC from Mumsnet setting out our issues with this storyline? If that sounds good then do everyone contribute your thoughts here and then we'll work on a draft and run it by you all.

Mouseface Tue 04-Jan-11 12:11:24

Great idea Justine.

We all know that it is 'only a tv show, a 'story' and the characters are not 'real'.

We can also choose not to watch it. EastEnders has been banned in this house now and will be until this storyline has run it's course.

BUT.....

Personally, as a bereaved mother of triplets, I found the depiction of 'Ronnie' losing the plot, becoming unhinged and then swapping her dead son for another baby farcical and deeply disturbing.

If you asked every single bereaved parent if they did that, went out into the street with their dead child/ren in their arms, wandering around and then just happened to know where they may find a 'replacement' NOT ONE OF US would say 'oh yes, I did that, don't we all?'hmm

Yes, we know that babies are snatched. It's utterly horrific for those involved but to portray 'Ronnie' as they did, is just not the 'norm' for a bereaved mother is it?

I would like to know why despite repeatedly being told that is not the SIDS storyline that is distressing many but the swap storyline the BBC is bullishly refusing to get the point.

Why the complaints department is sending out automated emails about the SIDS storyline when it is not that that is being complained about?

Why they are trotting out "it's not real" to justify themselves to the many that are distressed by this storyline. Does that mean it's acceptable to portray anything, no matter how offensive, because "it's not real"?

Message withdrawn

confuddledDOTcom Tue 04-Jan-11 12:35:08

I specifically asked for them not to send their standard SIDS letter and haven't had a reply.

I'm not sure what to add from everything I've already said.

I think it's important that they understand how much faith people put in them. It might not be real but they believe that a lot of research is put in and they will quote it back if they find themselves in similar situations.

Many of us have had some horrible comments after we've lost our babies, people scared to let us near their own baby. This is going to make that worse, it justifies peoples comments.

I said in the other thread that the NNU my baby was in shortly after the Roxie/ Amy story were complaining about the harm that it had done, parents thinking that's what they had to expect.

onlyjuststillme Tue 04-Jan-11 12:37:59

I would say it is a very obviously, late, cobbled together storyline which is feeding off of sensationalism to the extreme.

poorly considered and very poorly executed!

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confuddledDOTcom Tue 04-Jan-11 12:38:37

When I was pregnant for the first time after my angel baby I used to get angry and shout "I don't want this baby! I want my baby back" It felt wrong that I would be loving and holding another baby, it felt like I was replacing her. I held my baby for about 24 hours after she was born. They brought a special moses basket in that kept her cool, I could only hold her for short periods and I'd hold her until the cold made my arm ache and then they'd prise her from me.

GabbyLoggon Tue 04-Jan-11 12:38:47

It is a very big issue about the media upsetting people. (there is a lot of it about) Try wrting to the Director General ;
BBC Trust....Jeremy Hunt handles the media from
a government standpoint. I dont no who the Labour shadow Minister is. (It can be googled)

The BBC and ITV soaps are in a "ratings" war. Hence the OTT disasters.

Good luck with your complaint. "Gabby"

Emjxxx Tue 04-Jan-11 12:43:16

Yes please do send a letter Justine, I think that using some of the words from the parents on the thread would be a good idea as long as no-one minds their words being used. Some of the mums have been very very good at putting their points and feelings across in a very constructive way.

It really needs to be put across that it is the Baby Swap and unrealistic scenario sounding the swap that we are unhappy with, the way in which it has been made to seem that the first thing a woman does after finding her baby dead is go and swap him/her for another one!!!

PenelopeGarcia Tue 04-Jan-11 12:45:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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PenelopeGarcia Tue 04-Jan-11 12:50:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CommanderDrool Tue 04-Jan-11 12:50:47

I absolutely agree with SAF. Stigmatising trauma, treating victims always female, as 'damaged goods, and dangerous.

They broadcast into our sitting rooms using our money and they have a responsibility to entertain and inform, not peddle misrepresentation, exploitation and sensationalism.

peterpansmum Tue 04-Jan-11 12:50:49

As a mother whose son died aged 2 from suspected SIDS I would like the BBC to know that there was soooo much potential to do a whole load of good by raising awareness of sids, getting the key prevention messages out there and also show their viewers what it is like for bereaved parents and their families and friends and all those affected by the death of a child from cot death.

Instead the focus has been on, in my opinion, the totally ridiculous baby swap story that I find completely repulsive and offensive as no bereaved parent that I know of would do that - When my child stopped breathing all my husband and I wanted to do was to make him breathe again - there is just no way on this earth that I would have gone and swapped him with one of his wee pals....

Bereaved parents feel alone and lonely enough in society without feeling further isolated by being depicted in EE as unhinged and likely to swap their child with another.

HereMeRoar Tue 04-Jan-11 12:53:25

Please do write smile.

It's all there on the 28 page thread in telly addicts wink.

However, the main points I'd make (as a parent, but thankfully not one who has lost a child) are:

*this storyline is offensive and inaccurate.
*it does not entertain, inform or educate (BBC mission) and therefore what place does it have in BBC schedules
*it demonises bereaved parents and suggests repeated tragic loss of children leads women to mental instability and babysnatching. This is insulting to those in that awful position
* most sadly it is missing a really important opportunity to share info about the real experience of a baby dying and info on reducing the risk of such a tragedy occurring.

In all their responses the BBC are missing the point that it is Ronnie who was bereaved, not Kat and Alfie. Their portrayal can't be realistic, as swaps of this nature do not happen in real life. It's complete offensive fantasy.

Their responses repeatedly highlighting their consultation with FSID are also pretty rude, considering we are complaining about the SWAP and FSID have made it plain they were not consulted about that and don't think it's realistic.

Thank you MNHQ smile

Mouseface Tue 04-Jan-11 13:03:40

Also, The Radio Times have published that according to newspaper reports, filming was stopped so that the crew and cast could compose themselves.

Not only that, the cast and crew members found the whole storyline so harrowing, that they've been offered counselling.

confuddledDOTcom Tue 04-Jan-11 13:08:01

I've always said to be jealous of another baby is as illogical as being jealous of any other human being. That's not my baby anymore than an adult is.

ivykaty44 Tue 04-Jan-11 13:08:50

sick twisted tradgedy

confuddledDOTcom Tue 04-Jan-11 13:19:19

Agreed, mouse. They got bad responses from the test audience, the cast were traumatised, they got bad reactions before it went on air yet they still continued with it!

FooffyShmoofer Tue 04-Jan-11 13:24:56

There are many people who watch Eastenders who become heavily invested in the storylines, so yes of course it's not real but to many it's as near as damnit.

It would be hoped that when planning the more devastating and emotional stories the BBC and EE execs would exercise a little more responsibility or duty of care than a phone number at the end of a harrowing episode. How about making the considered decision that a story may be just too much or too far.

supernoodlesrock Tue 04-Jan-11 13:29:27

Another point raised in the telly addicts thread is that this storyline could have been used as a positive way of showing the right ways to support bereaved parents such as acknowledging the child, talking about them, using their name, listening.

This has just stigmatised bereaved parents even more and was aired at the worst possible time of year. Sick and twisted!

wellieboots Tue 04-Jan-11 13:48:38

Now that this storyline has been picked up as offensive, EE bosses are running with the "it's not real, it's drama, it's entertainment" angle.

However, normally when EE raises issues and is praised for its handling of them and for raising awareness, they are perfectly happy to take credit for the fact that their audience takes what they see to heart and that EE can have a positive influence.

They can't have it both ways - and in any case, it's not good entertainment - the acting and storylining is appalling and the inconsistencies in the story are ridiculous.

cobbledtogether Tue 04-Jan-11 13:58:17

Losing a child surely has to be the worst thing that can happen to any parent. Bereaved parents have to struggle to come to terms with the enormous grief while also discovering the inability of many people to understand how to support them properly. Despite this, a story line about SIDS shouldn't be out of the question, especially when it is used to sensitively highlight the grief and struggles faced by these parents, many of whom end up feeling that they are on their own with their grief as the world moves along even though theirs has been torn apart.

However the BBC has dealt with this sensitive topic by portraying a bereaved mother as a mad baby stealer, if what can only be described as a completely crass, cruel and unrealistic way (even for a soap) with the 'baby swap' story line.

I know one bereaved mother and never in her darkest moment did she ever want someone else's child. She wanted HER child. Never would she have abducted a child, she wanted HER child. Did the BBC talk to bereaved mothers about how they physically hurt with grief? How they could hardly move with grief? How everything seemed so empty and the constant, constant what if? Did they meet ONE bereaved mother who even considered abducting a child? Do they consider that a baby is just a baby so it could be replaced? Perhaps a conversation with someone who has gone through still-birth could disillusion them on that one.

Dear BBC, you have has failed massively on this one, misrepresenting such a vulnerable group of people. Sort. It. Out.

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