Before its airing, the Steven Soderbergh-directed film had enjoyed a surge in popularity on iTunes and other On Demand platforms.
But some people still found the channel’s decision to broadcast the film in poor taste – with broadcast watchdog Ofcom reportedly receiving over 160 complaints about the move.
Viewers also took to Twitter to express their opinions. “As if Contagion is on TV tonight,” wrote one Twitter user. “Very tasteful while we’re dealing with a pandemic.”
“ITV screening Contagion? Really?” asked another. “Might as well throw in Cabin Fever, Dawn of the Dead and a Walking Dead marathon.”
Someone else described the decision as being in "extremely bad taste".
However, others suggested that the film was in fact performing a public service by raising awareness of the virus, and the danger pandemics can represent.
“Maybe this was a genius move for ITV,” suggested one commentor, saying that those who “won’t stay inside will watch #Contagion and suddenly GET IT.”
Contagion has actually been praised for its scientific accuracy, and the film’s creators have revealed that virus experts were consulted extensively in the making of the film.
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