I’m out. Banshee crossed the line this week. I have a pretty firm policy that I do not watch tv shows or movies that depict violent rape scenes. I find them particularly offensive in premium cable shows. Everybody knows when watching a show like Banshee that there is a requisite sex scene in each episode. It’s the titillation factor. I get that. In last week’s episode, the gratuitous sex scene was with Hood and the Amish girl, Rebecca. While they had sex again this week, they did so with their clothes mostly on. That type of encounter does not meet the definition of a premium cable sex scene – there’s no nudity.
So how was Banshee going to go to fill its quota? Enter an arrogant fighter, in town for a fight at a local casino. He invites the casino’s waitress back to his room and asks her to bring him some champagne. Because it is Banshee, the town where all women seem to be willing to sleep with strangers, the waitress decides to have sex with the fighter. Nudity – check.
But here is where I jump ship. During the consensual sex scene, the fighter becomes more aggressive. Over shouts by the waitress for him to stop, he ends up violently raping and beating her. In the hospital later, the waitress tells the police officers that he also violated her with the champagne bottle.
When shows like this fill their sex quota with a rape scene, I have no interest in continuing to watch that show. It’s the same reason I stopped watching Spartacus. There is a way to communicate that someone was raped without showing it in such graphic detail. When shows like this use rape to fill their sex requirement, it blurs the line between what is sexual and what is violent. Most people can make the distinction in their minds between erotic and violent acts. However, there is undoubtedly still a segment of the viewership that is unable to do so. These types of people do not need to be pandered to.
So how could the show have communicated the rape in a way that would still explain Hood becoming enraged enough to beat the fighter? Let me explain. Waitress goes to fighter’s trailer, they do the drugs, and there is a shot of the outside of the trailer and perhaps the sound of screaming. The next time we see the waitress, she is in a hospital bed explaining what happened. What is missing? The actual depiction of sexual violence.
I am sure that other people have similar things that they cannot watch. Some may be more offended by the beating of the waitress or by the waitress and fighter doing cocaine. For me, this is my line in the sand and when it’s crossed, I have no further interest in watching.
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