Coronation Street boss Kate Oates has slammed Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway for "homophobic" comments about gay kissing in television soaps.
Oates, who is credited with boosting the ratings of the ITV show, made the comments during her appearance on the breakfast show this morning during an interview about the soap's upcoming male rape storyline featuring David Platt.
During the interview, Garraway asked Oates about gay kissing scenes, which she implied were "shocking" and "explicit".
Garraway said: "I suppose what parents might worry about is that it feels like it's getting more and more shocking. I remember - because I'm very old - the first lesbian kiss on Brookside, then there was the first gay kiss on Eastenders."
She continued: "Now, on tonight's episode we're going to see David Platt drugged and sexually assaulted in a gay sexual assault. That feels like an exponential increase in the explicit nature of what's going straight into family viewing living rooms. It'll be very clear, won't it, what's going on for youngsters watching?"
Oates paused, clealy shocked, and then said: "I've got two points to make here, first of all you used a gay kiss as an example of shocking television, and I think it's really important that no-one thinks a gay kiss is shocking."
Garraway quickly defended herself: "But it was at the time! It was a groundbreaking thing at the time."
Oates then replied: "Exactly, and that's what's interesting - it was at the time and now it's been normalised - quite rightly, because to think that a gay kiss is shocking television is really, really disturbing.
"This is life, this is how people should be free to live. With something like a rape storyline, male sexual assault happens. One in ten rapes that happen in the UK will be with a male victim. This needs discussion."
She continued: "Do it carefully, do it with consideration. I'm really delighted you mentioned those kisses as something that soaps have done to help change society for the better."
Viewers were quick to side with Oates and tweeted their support for her while slamming the Good Morning Britain host, who recently came under fire after being accused of "passive homophobia" by Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner after she and Ben Shephard criticised his judging style.