HBO’s panel at yesterday’s Television Critics Association yielded few surprises about the state of Westeros. It was confirmed, for example, that
. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had been upfront about that. It’s also not a big surprise that HBO is trying very gently to get them to say yes to a spinoff. If there’s one thing we know about the entertainment industry, it’s that if something works the way
does, Hollywood isn’t just going to let it end because the story is complete.
But what was surprising was the sudden left turn the panel took towards the end of the
segment, as questions about the show’s violent and sexual content, specifically violence against women, came up.
Fans are used to these questions by now—they’ve been asked ever since Season 1 coined the term “sexposition,” and especially after Season 5, after Ramsay Bolton raped Sansa Stark on their wedding night. Although nothing in Season 6 set off waves of controversy, the questions are by now part of the standard set put forth by critics, and were to be expected especially in light of Casey Bloys having only just taken over the position from Michael Lombardo this spring.
Carter Bloys was NOT prepped for questions about whether HBO drama overrelies on sexualized violence against women. #TCA16
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) July 30, 2016
Apparently it never occurred to Bloys that he would face these kinds of questions, nor did anyone at HBO think to point that out. When asked whether HBO shows would eventually depict sexual violence against men, he turned it into a joke. “We’re going to kill everybody,” he said.
"We're going to kill everybody" is not the ideal response to a question about pervasive use of rape as a story point. #TCA16
— Haleigh Foutch (@HaleighFoutch) July 30, 2016
The critics were a little shocked, and pounded Bloys on the topic in the executive session. Question: Why were more women than men being assaulted on HBO shows?
I don’t necessarily see it as specific to women. The point of is there a lot of violence in
? Yes, but I don’t necessarily think that it’s specifically isolated to women.
No, you haven’t seen men being raped. But the point I would make in
for example is men are castrated, a guy is fed a cake made of his sons. The violence is pretty extreme on all fronts. I take your point that so far there have not been any male rapes, but my point is the violence is spread equally.
Bloys’s answers on whether HBO overuses sexualized violence against women are full Reddit, “Well, people are murdered! That’s p bad!” #TCA16
— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) July 30, 2016
That did not satisfy critics who kept coming back and back to the question, asking Bloys if he thought that such depictions across the network, including new shows like
is they’re robots. How you treat a robot with human-like qualities? Is that reflective of how you would treat a human? It’s a little bit different than
where it is human-on-human violence. But to your larger point: Is it something we think about? Yeah, I think the criticism is valid. I think it’s something that people take into account. It’s not something we’re wanting to highlight or trying to highlight, but I think the criticism is point taken on it.
HBO's Bloys getting third question about onscreen rape of female characters. "I think the criticism is valid." #TCA16
— Daniel Holloway (@gdanielholloway) July 30, 2016
turning more towards the final battle between the dead and the living, not to mention the long break between seasons we’ll have this year (and presumably between Seasons 7 and 8), the show may finally find themselves no longer in the direct crosshairs of these sorts of questions going forward. But with HBO’s new shows under fire for the same issues, and especially in light of a possible spinoff and a return to Westeros in a different generation, these questions won’t fade from view for very long.
At HBO’s Executive Session this morning at the Television Critic’s Association...
Game of Thrones Season 6 is over, but the process of analyzing Game of Thrones Season 6 has just...
Have you already read all the books and/or don\'t care about spoilers? You can reveal all the spoilers in the comments with the click of a link below.
Who will have dragons in the spin off bc otherwise thr is no point
Is this a FANTASY show based on medieval times or not?
I thought this was a fantasy show. Some people have nothing better to do with their time but criticize. Get a life. It’s TV.
There are numerous shows and movies that show violence against women so WTF?! Why give GoT such criticism about that? And the story is based on Medieval history….get over and move on….there’s worst violence going on now in our world….worry about that and do something about that.
Theon was in the beginning stage of being raped after he “escaped” from the dread fort.. am I missing something
theon was in the process of being raped after he “escaped” from the dreadfort in season 3.. am I missing something?
I don’t recall any of these whiners when True Blood was doing it even more.
There was literally no violence against women in the last season of game of thrones, it couldn’t have been more about ‘girl power’ and showing women being badasses, what the heck are they complaining about??
Seven hells!! I am SO sick of hearing about the gratuitous “violence against women” in GoT. Like someone else said, how about praising the show for highlighting some serious female badassery in season 6? Oh wait…because that doesn’t give these ridiculous critics and feminazis the ammo they’re looking for to continue pursuing their ridiculous agenda. Instead, they’ll continue grasping at straws to keep their “point” relevant. While it’s not always sexual, violence against men in the show trumps the violence against women, imo. And not for nothing, but where was their outrage when all of Robert’s bastards, including many infants, were slaughtered? Or when Ramsay had his hounds tear Fat Walda and her newborn apart? Even their outrage over Shireen’s death didn’t last long…is it because she was only a girl and not a woman? One thing that seriously irritated me was the uproar over Sansa’s wedding night, and how the writers turned Sansa’s trauma into “All about Reek/Theon”…so, did you WANT them to actually show what Ramsay was doing to Sansa?! I think panning in on Reek and the emotions he was experiencing was the best way to end that scene. It just proves that these critics will never be satisfied. Daenerys and Sansa could be the saviors of Westeros in the end, and we’ll still be hearing it…”So, about that violence against women from like three seasons ago…”
Lady_Viper1984 on HBO president Casey Bloys questioned about violence against women on Game of Thrones
Arobin08 on HBO president Casey Bloys questioned about violence against women on Game of Thrones
Italian-guy on HBO Confirms Game of Thrones Season 8 Is The Final Season
HBO president Casey Bloys questioned about violence...
Small Council: What was the funniest moment of Game...