Let’s face it, one Emmerdale storyline has caused more discussion and controversy over the past few months than any other – Rebecca White having Robert Sugden’s baby. After making all the Robron fans dreams come true, Robert and his new ‘husband’ Aaron Dingle were ripped apart when he went to prison. Unable to cope after an argument, a drunken Robert made the biggest mistake of his life – and from then on its been a predictable journey to Rebecca giving birth to baby Seb.
Well Emmerdale fan Vanessa Booty has decided to put pen to paper and share her views on this storyline – where it has been, where its going and why the hell it had to happen in the first place…
“It’s been nearly nine months since the storyline of Robert (Ryan Hawley) and Rebecca (Emily Head) having a baby started and I still don’t understand why Emmerdale have chosen to go down this route.
“For now, the narrative that Emmerdale is telling fans who have emailed ITV bosses is that they wanted to explore Robert as a father. As a fan of the show, I can quite understand with the Sugdens being a legendary family. It would be a great vein of storylines for him and the family. What I don’t understand is why they did it in this particular way.
“Being from an adoptive background, family is and has always been about love and support, and I don’t feel any less part of my mum’s side of the family because she is adopted. In fact my family is stronger and more loving than most. It makes no difference that we don’t all share a bloodline.
“So if Emmerdale wanted to explore Robert as a father, why couldn’t they do an adoption storyline? Or maybe they could have done a surrogacy storyline? It would still be exploring Robert as a father, whilst also breaking new ground in terms of soap narrative in recent years.
“If we go back to where Robert cheated on Aaron (Danny Miller) with Rebecca, consent issues aside, we had heard multiple times from Robert that ‘being bisexual didn’t mean he was going to cheat’. And we then had him cheat. Instilling an idea into the heads of 5-6 million viewers that bisexual people can’t be trusted to be in a loyal relationship and are more likely to be unfaithful. Now I know cheating is a soap staple and as the bosses themselves say ‘it’s just a soap’, but in this instance I think it was a snap decision without thinking of the consequences of the story they are telling.
“As well as feeding into a negative bisexual stereotype, Emmerdale then went on to show Rebecca having a baby. Throughout the story, she has been treated like someone you should respect for just because she is having a child. She has taken no responsibility for her actions, which were morally questionable and has acted like Robert is to blame.
“Safety during sex has also been a massive problem here. Obviously soaps forgo protection sometimes to have the soap cliche baby, but there is hardly ever any word on sexual health afterwards. And why didn’t Rebecca take the morning after pill? Woman are more in charge of their own sexual health now than they ever have been. It would have been on her mind that she slept with him without protection and could well have been pregnant.
“Recent scenes have also seen Diane Sugden (Elizabeth Estensen) ‘praising’ Robert on becoming a dad and saying that his dad would be proud of him. Proud of what? Him cheating with a woman and having a baby? Like that’s the norm and what he should have done.
“We have also seen multiple scenes showing various people who have been pivotal in Aaron’s life, completely disregarding his feelings on the matter in favour of supporting Rebecca.
“Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) has known Aaron for nearly ten years and has been a brilliant friend to him. She has also been made aware of the Whites framing her brother Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) for shooting Lawrence. And yet, the minute Rebecca found out she was pregnant it was like Victoria forgot all of that and suddenly was Rebecca’s best friend. Constantly dragging Aaron into a situation he needed to be out of in order to help his mental health. This character is not the same one I have been watching on this show.
“Ultimately, this story is detrimental to the progress of the show and it feels like we are going backwards instead of forwards in our storytelling. I understand the need for angst and Robron do it well. But I think this was a dangerous story to start telling and it has certainly received its fair share of bad reviews since they began telling it.
“I would hope that Emmerdale would take our thoughts and worries on board and know that we aren’t complaining about a soap couple being split, we are complaining about an entire community of people being offended that the way they live their lives is being made a mockery of.
“Emmerdale have always impressed me with their stories and are often leading the way in terms of the stories they tell – the award-winning Ashley’s Dementia being a prime example. I’m just at a loss why they chose to go back in time with this one. Unless of course that twist we are dying for is coming? Anyone? Yeah, I don’t have much hope either, but I will be pleasantly surprised if it does!”
Of course this is just one fan’s opinion; What’s yours?