It's not Respectable

Protest at Five's brothel sitcom

A women’s charity has blasted new channel Five sitcom Respectable for glamorising prostitution.

The comedy, starring former Hollyoaks actress Jodi Albert and character comic Justin Edwards, is set in a suburban brothel.

But protesters at Eaves say its lighthearted treatment of the subject is ‘a gross misrepresentation of the lives of women involved in prostitution’.

It said: ‘The reality is coercion, extreme violence, drug dependency, homelessness, criminal records, rapes and beatings - not shoe collections and student loans.

‘Channel 5 is glamorising an industry that exploits, degrades and ultimately kills women. This sitcom should be withdrawn immediately from schedules and shelved, never to be shown.’

The group has collected more than 1,600 names in an online petition against the show.

Eaves says the sitcom, created by late comedy writer Harry Thompson, goes against Ofcom guidelines on condoning or glamorising violence, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour.

But Five said the show is not intended as an in-depth investigation of the sex industry.

A spokeswoman said the show was thoroughly researched, with some stories based on real-life cases, but added: ‘As would be obvious to anyone watching it, this is not a documentary, it is a comedy, and we would expect it to be viewed as such.’

The first episode of the show, which aired on Wednesday, attracted 700,000 viewers – down on Five’s 1.3 million average for programmes in that slot.

The show is repeated across the week on the Paramount Comedy Channel as part of a co-production deal with Five.

Published: 2 Sep 2006

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