The controversial storyline saw Ronnie Branning take Kat Moon's son after her own son died just days after being born. After a media frenzy, senior executives decided to cut out several scenes and rewrite a 'happy ending' for Kat at Easter.
HOW I SEE IT
Peter Roberts, Senior associate director, issues and crisis management, Hill & Knowlton (and a former BBC head of comms)
Television's so-called delicate issues, which include mental health and sexual abuse, are a real challenge for primetime programme makers. Do them well and you're demonstrating your public service credentials; do them badly, you're a crass ratings chaser. I'm certain much consideration was given to the current EastEnders storyline, but the producers appear to have miscalculated the collective strength of feeling, which on a consolatory point is a testament to the programme's high regard among its audience.
Clearly, it demonstrates maturity to listen to the views of your audience, but I fear that the EastEnders response may have set a precedent for other groups to have a disproportionate influence on future content.