TCA 2016: HBO Exec on ‘Westworld’ Rape Scene, Sarah Jessica Parker Talks ‘Divorce’
HBO presented the casts of their upcoming new shows at the 2016 Television Critics Association summer press tour – and things got a little heated.
In particular, new HBO head honcho Casey Bloys had to answer pointed questions from the press about the sexual violence against women in many of the cable network’s programming, including a scene [SPOILER!] in the pilot to the upcoming sci-fi fantasy series Westworld in which a life-like female android “host” is raped off-camera by a human male guest inside the show’s ultra-realistic theme park.
According to EW, Bloys responded, “For the Westworld pilot, the point in Westworld 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 Game of Thrones, 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.”
Westworld showrunner Lisa Joy added, “It was definitely something that was heavily discussed. Westworld is an examination of human nature, the best parts of human nature, but also the basest parts of human nature, and that includes violence and sexual violence that have sadly been a fact of human history since the beginning. So when we were tackling a project about a park where you can come there and act out any desire you have, without impunity, it seems like an issue you have to address. Sexual violence for everybody on my team is something we take very seriously, it’s extraordinarily disturbing and horrifying.We really endeavored to not have it be about the fetishization of those acts, it’s about exploring and establishing the crime, and the torment of the characters.”
When asked if HBO shows would eventually depict that same type of violence toward men, Bloys quipped, “We’re going to kill everybody.” Watch the trailer!
“I don’t think that we actually talked a lot about trying to make her different,” she told reporters. “I think this story is different. I was always interested in the story of marriage, that’s how this all started.”
She added, “I think Frances was so much her own person from the moment I read the pilot. She was so distinct from not only Carrie but any other character I have ever played.” Watch the preview!