But Heida Reed, the actress at the centre of the storm, has defended the BBC hit show’s handling of the issue.
The scene towards the end of the last series saw Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, confront his former fiancee Elizabeth, played by Heida, after learning she had agreed to wed the evil George Warleggan.
He kicked down her door, burst into her bedroom and forced himself on her with her with Elizabeth’s resistance seeming to turn to pleasure.
There were complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and Sarah Green, co-director of the campaign group End Violence Against Women, said the depiction was “worse than a straightforward rape” adding that it sent an “irresponsible” message about the issue of consent.
Heida Reed has defended Poldark’s controversial rape scene
I don’t think that we necessarily have any particular responsibility to tell a story that’s morally correct
But ahead of the third series opener on Sunday night Heida, 29, said: “I don’t think that we necessarily have any particular responsibility to tell a story that’s morally correct all the time.
"What’s fun about that? Where’s the entertainment in that?
"I know that Ross sort of broke a lot of people’s hearts, but I think it’s so much more interesting than being this superhero kind of hero that never takes a false step or does anything wrong.”
TV's most controversial moments Tue, January 24, 2017
The most controversial moments on TV from Poldark to X Factor.
BBC 1 of 11
Apple Tree Yard starring Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin, contained a number of sex scenes – including a traumatic rape scene
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The actress added that Elizabeth: “As a woman of that time, wouldn’t have looked at it the way we look at it now”.
As well as filming the third series of Poldark, Heida has been back to her native Iceland to film Scandi-noir thriller Stella Blomkvist, in which she plays a leather-clad lawyer who takes on mysterious and dangerous murder cases.
The scene saw Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, confront Elizabeth, played by Heida
After that she is off to LA to be with her American film producer boyfriend of two years, Sam Ritzenberg who she met in a roundabout way on Tinder.
Her friend met her boyfriend on the dating app and he introduced Heida to his best friend Sam.
Where many people call dating apps the death of romance, Heida doesn’t see it that way.
She said: “I find something really romantic about the fact that if you hadn’t decided to go on to this thing, you would probably never have met. I think that’s fate."