The BBC has spoken out after EastEnders was accused of “participating in misandry” by outraged viewers following its Christmas Day and Boxing Day episodes.
More than three million people tuned in on December 25 to see the climax of EastEnders’ The Six storyline in which the identity of the latest Albert Square fatality was revealed.
The plot had been building for months prior to the festive season, with six of the soap’s biggest female characters suspects behind the killing fans knew was coming.
The BBC soap did its best to conceal the identity of which male character would meet a grisly end but things came to a head this week.
BBC viewers discovered it was Kellie Bright’s Linda Carter who was responsible for the death of Danny Walters’ character Keanu Taylor after she stopped him from attacking Letitia Dean’s Sharon.
But it wasn’t the exit itself that sparked fury among viewers but rather the “sexist” dialogue and circumstances that surrounded it.
As the six female characters – played by Dean, Lacey Turner, Balvinder Sopal, Bright, Diane Parish and Gillian Taylforth – set the scene for the incident, each Albert Square resident engaged in conversations about their respective troubles with the opposite sex.
Sharing their outrage online, one fuming viewer penned on X, formerly Twitter: “#Eastenders So disgusting the sexism against men in the storyline. The women were hypocrites as they lied and cheated too.”
“#Misandry at its finest on show on #Eastenders,” a second weighed in. “Paint all men as violent and deserving of death. Way to go #BBC, thank f**k I don’t watch this s**t on a regular basis.”
A third similarly complained: “Eastenders is fully participating in misandry. The man hating and murder is a bit much!!! I think I’ll leave watching it to just being a Christmas tradition on Christmas Day.”
Elsewhere, a fourth pondered: “Curious as to how people would react if ‘the six’ were all men and the dead body was a woman? Would this be acceptable? (I’m simply just asking) #Eastenders.”
And the outrage kept coming with a fifth commenting: “No way the woke @BBCOne have let this happen, butchered 2 men and let them get away with it because they are woman #EastEnders.”
“#EastEnders writers know that good men exist right?” a sixth mused.
The scenes were defended by some viewers, however, including one person who worryingly argued: “Eastenders was really beautiful to watch tonight can’t lie. That’s how us women should unite to beat men from now on tbh.”
And another fan applauded: “The #Six @bbceastenders reveal sequence has been amazing to watch and I thought provided masterful twists and turns and curious to see where it goes in 2024.” (sic)
Addressing the outrage days after the scenes aired, a BBC spokesperson told GB News: “EastEnders is a fictional drama and our regular viewers have come to expect big dramatic storylines, especially at Christmas.
“This year’s story began in February 2023 and throughout the year we have taken great care to signpost the storyline prior to transmission, through on-air continuity and publicity.”