Friday, July 21, 2017
Are there boundaries in entertainment anymore? And, if so, what are they?
Today, I had a long Twitter exchange - which I never do - with a journalist and Christian about #GameofThrones. He defended the indefensible because, dude, it's really good tv.
I mean, what's a show without rape as a frequent, common, and accepted plot event? Throw in some sexual abuse of children, too. That's just necessary story development. Don't forget to include scenes of pregnant women being stabbed in the belly and women killed by shooting arrows into their groin. It's been two minutes, cue another rape scene.
All good solid character development.
I know talking about our entertainment choices is a sensitive topic. Entertainment is sacred. If you can find a show with good acting and an intriguing storyline, we'll tolerate nearly anything to have it.
But we've gone too far with this. And, if we don't speak up, hard as it is to imagine, it's only going to get worse.
I'm sharing the Twitter exchange to illustrate the lengths #GameofThrones viewers will go to justify their entertainment. If you're so attached to a program that you believe violent sexual assault on anyone for any reason at any time is a "necessary visual," you've got a serious stronghold in your life.
Turn off the tv, get away from that show, and get some perspective before it does more damage to your perception than it has already done. Being okay with consuming this kind of evil is not trivial and never okay.
Yes. Calling this stuff out will get me called "self-righteous" and "judgmental" and "holier than though." If that's what it takes to push back against this kind of vileness, so be it. I've been called worse.
Any story that relies on sexual violence is a pathetic excuse for a story. And created by unimaginative writers. Building rich characters, even villains, requires far more than showing the vulgarity of their actions. That's the cheap route. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the writers, should try harder. But, instead, they are focused only on shock value of the subject.
A story in The Atlantic, the one I quoted above, outlines several ways the writers have gone far beyond what was required for the story or the character in their illustration of sexual violence. They've purposely added even more than the book series outlined and all for what purpose?
In the end, if sexual violence against women and children is acceptable in the name of entertainment, what isn't? If that doesn't stop you from watching a show, what will?
For you Game of Thrones fans, I'd really love an answer.