Netflix’s hit drama, Bridgerton, has come under fire following a controversial rape scene in one of the episodes that viewers have heavily criticised.
All eight episodes of the series landed on the streaming giant on Christmas Day and viewers didn’t take long to binge the series but, one scene in episode six has shocked Netflix subscribers. The scene sees the main character Daphne Bridgerton, portrayed by Phoebe Dynevor, refusing to stop having sex with the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page, despite his ardent requests to stop.
The scene is glossed over and not treated with the seriousness that a rape scene should justify. Instead, the scene is treated as though it never happened. In the book that the series is based on, author Julia Quinn clarifies that the Duke of Hastings has been the victim of sexual assault. The passage reads: “Daphne had aroused him in his sleep, taken advantage of him while he was still slightly intoxicated, and held him to her while he poured his seed into her.”
A comment piece in Vox is critical of the show. The article states that the Duke using the word “can’t” rather than “won’t” being lost on Daphne is an indictment of her little amount of sex education. The piece states that because of her little experience she cannot realise that the Duke is wanting the engagement to end and is feeling uncomfortable.
“The strangest thing about this moment is that I’m not sure the show’s writers consider this scene to be a rape scene,” Aja Romano writes for Vox.
Romano then adds: “One bad moment of uninformed consent does not justify a moment of nonconsensual sex. And depriving Simon of his consent to both sex and fatherhood, even at the moment of climax, is still rape.”