Rahila Gupta

“There is no such thing as a child prostitute”: a review of the BBC’s Three Girls

This is BBC drama at its best. But the privatisation of care homes, and how grooming impacts the families of perpetrators, were blind spots.

The BBC's Three Girls drama.

The BBC’s Three Girls drama. Photo: BBC online.

“Gut-wrenching,” “brave” and “unflinching” are some of the adjectives flying around in the conversations on social media after the airing of Three Girls, BBC drama at its best. Based on the real-life stories of the grooming of young white girls by Asian men in Rochdale, England, this three-part drama had all the potential for reigniting the bitter, racist debates that take place each time news breaks of yet another grooming gang across England. Aware of the sensitivity of the issues, the drama seeks to head off allegations of racial bias with this disclaimer at the beginning of each episode: “What follows is based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts.” At the end of the drama, the names of 36 towns and cities where paedophile gangs have been busted come up on screen in a chilling sequence.

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