This Filmmaker Wants Men In Hollywood To Stop Making Rape Scenes

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Photo: HBO

There’s an unreasonable amount of sexual violence depicted on TV and in film, most of it handled by male writers and directors with all the sensitivity and nuance of a battering ram. Jill Soloway would very much like them to stop.

The creator of Amazon’s Emmy-winning Transparent appeared on a panel at the Sundance Film Festival this week to discuss gender equality in Hollywood. Among the topics raised was this excess of gratuitous rape scenes in popular entertainment, which often serve as lazy plot devices to signal female vulnerability and trauma, and to advance the development of male characters.

Soloway had a simple request:

“I would like to make a blanket ask to cis men to please stop making movies about rape, stop portraying rape. We get it, guys. You want us to stay inside because you want us to be afraid we’re going to get raped. We get it. Stop making movies and TV shows about rape. Let women make those movies if they want to.”

“Prestige” television, in particular, is inundated with violence of all kinds—sexual violence chief among them. HBO’s Game of Thrones has become the embodiment of the problem, in part because it’s the most popular show in the world and is largely written and directed by men, but also because—and this is key—it features an ungodly number of rape scenes. That said, the fantasy drama is hardly the only popular or acclaimed TV show to do so.

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