After last week’s shocking display of human cruelty, when they made an obviously very uncomfortable Joey Essex talk about his mother’s suicide, The Only Way Is Essex has yet again taken things one step too far by marching him down to her graveside for all to see.
During last Wednesday’s episode, with most of the gang out doing the Essex Shake at Darrell’s Essex club, Frankie Essex began talking to Bobby Norris about her mother’s suicide when she was just 13 years old.
Fans of the hit show will know that Tina, the mother of Frankie and her brother Joey Essex, took her own life after a long a battle with depression, a subject that Joey finds particularly hard and refuses to talk about.
However, whilst Frankie was discussing it in the club, Joey was at his girlfriend, Sam Faier’s house, going through old photos of his mum, a situation which is far too coincidental not to have been decided by the show’s producers.
Poor Joey broke down in tears as he tried to talk about how hard it was for him not having a mum and, whilst we all screamed at our TV’s ‘stop it, don’t make him do this’, it was clear to see by the look on Sam’s face that she agreed.
Was it really necessary to get him to talk about something so personal to him, clearly breaking his heart in the process, for a better viewing figure?
Apparently the answer is yes – and then some!
Last night saw the popular ITV2 reality show return to the subject of Joey and Frankie Essex’ dead mum in a special Mother’s Day episode which saw Joey take his girlfriend, Sam Faiers to visit the grave of his late mother, who committed suicide when he was just ten years old.
The pair stood in silence as Joey laid down flowers and a card he had bought for the occasion before another scene later in the episode saw him, Frankie and their cousin Chloe Simms release a Chinese lantern in memory of her.
This display of what can only be described as exploitative cruelty sparked a torrent of criticism from social networking site, with many fans tweeting their disapproval of the situation.
This caused Joey to release a statement defending the show, in which he said:
“The show is the show and it’s based on reality and what is real is that March is a very hard month for me.
“I get down because it’s Mother’s Day and my Mum’s birthday and I felt it was important to portray that reality.
“I wouldn’t want to let this week pass without remembering my Mum so those scenes were important to me. I’ve had loads of support from the fusey TOWIE fans and it means a lot.”
Whilst a show source added: “The production team were really moved when filming these scenes – they were very personal moments and we were honoured that Joey wanted to share this with us.
“It is also worth noting that Frankie and Chloe have spoken openly about Joey and Frankie’s mother on the show before.
“Joey’s Dad was actually there for the filming at the graveside off camera to support Joey.”
Even still, we can’t help but think TOWIE are taking things far too far, and that they ave a very warped perception of what entertainment is!
Watch a clip from last night’s TOWIE in the clip below:
The Only Way Is Essex continues on Wednesday night at 10pm on ITV2/ITV2 HD.