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Emmerdale boss defends controversial dog scene in Belle and Tom abuse storyline: “It’s research-led”

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Ofcom received over 1,000 complaints about Emmerdale’s dog abuse storyline.

More than a thousand viewers complained to Ofcom over recent scenes in Emmerdale where violent Tom (James Chase) poisoned Piper the dog, expressing distress with the dramatic plot.

Producer Laura Shaw recently defended the plot in an interview with Digital Spy, saying that everything in it is “research-led”.

She remarked, “Let me start by saying that we should have gotten an ugly puppy! It hasn’t helped, I don’t think, that adorable dog. I did anticipate it because in Emmerdale, people become really upset when you put any kind of animals in risk.

“Piper will undoubtedly play a bigger part in the plot later on. It is guided by research. Among the things we discovered is that abusers may take advantage of pets. The family pet and the people you care about will be used as weapons against you by them.”

He went on: “This is all based on research – I promise you that it’s not just us being mean to the dog for the sake of it.”

The show’s long-running plot, in which Tom terrorizes his wife Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper) for months, including abuse of Piper the dog. In order to portray the subject truthfully, the ITV serial opera has been collaborating closely with the organizations New Beginnings Peer Support and Refuge.

In an interview with RadioTimes.com and other media, Shaw revealed the duration of Belle’s suffering.

“We said from the start that we wanted to tell this story as authentically and truthfully as we could,” the speaker stated. Let’s face it, you probably know someone who has experienced domestic abuse; this is not a situation that will go away in a few weeks.

We wished to be honest about the fact that this is something that takes a long time. Thus, I believe you may anticipate that this plot will continue till the conclusion of the current year.”

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