ITV received 160 complaints to Ofcom for airing the Contagion pandemic disaster film Thursday night.
The Ofcom industry regulator was inundated with nearly 200 angry calls when the 2011 film was shown, as it depicts a deadly pandemic very similar to the coronavirus.
Viewers also took Twitter to complain, with one who called the decision to air the film “bland”.
In the film Gwyneth Paltrow plays Beth Emhoff, one of the first patients to die from a virus that spreads terribly quickly, with Matt Damon in the role of her husband.
Marion Cotillard plays Dr. Leonora Orantes, an epidemiologist who studies the virus, and Jude Law plays Alan Krumwiede, a conspiracy theorist who believes that the government is not honest about the disease.
Kate Winslet plays Erin Mears, an intelligence officer on the epidemic, and the film was directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Contagion was inspired by real life pandemics, the SARS epidemic in 2002 and the swine flu pandemic in 2009.
It was broadcast on ITV on Thursday at 9:00 PM and spectator reactions were mixed.
A viewer wrote on Twitter: “As if Contagion were on TV tonight.
“Very tasteful while dealing with a pandemic.”
“ITV Contagion screening? Really? “Added another.” It could also launch in Cabin Fever, Dawn of the Dead and a Walking Dead marathon. “
Another furious user wrote: “Do you think ITV should be ashamed of itself for wearing #CONTAGION movie tonight. Extremely bad taste. !! ”
But some suggested it was a good warning, with an inscription: “Maybe the idiots who won’t stay inside will look #Contagion and suddenly GET. Maybe this was a brilliant move for ITV. ”
Damon and Winslet have now registered a coronavirus PSA, prompting people to wash their hands and stay safe.
They collaborated with scientists from Columbia University Mailman’s School of Public Health to create the videos.
Their co-stars Laurence Fishburne and Jennifer Ehle also starred in the videos, in which Winslet warns: “One of the most important things [the experts] he taught me: wash your hands as if your life depended on it.
“Because right now, in particular, it could simply.”
Damon urged onlookers: “Getting away from social media means being one meter away from another person. It means not getting together in groups and it means staying at home or taking shelter on the spot if that’s what government officials are telling you to do.
“People can have Covid-19 and have very mild symptoms or no symptoms, so even if you think you are healthy or healthy, don’t take the opportunity, it’s not worth it.”