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Why Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Acknowledged Sexual Assault in Season 3

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In the third episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season three, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) finally addressed what happened to her when she was being held captive by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm): rape.

Laura Dern‘s character, Wendy, a woman who intends to marry Hamm’s incarcerated villain, described her night in Manhattan with Kimmy as a Noel Coward play, because Kimmy is legally married to the Reverend and Dern’s character is technically the Reverend’s mistress.

“If Noel Coward really was a coward who rapes everybody,” Kimmy said to Dern’s character about the comparison, confirming years of sexual assault at the hands of the Reverend.

“Look, I think that’s the first time we’ve used that word,” Robert Carlock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-creator.

Carlock said there are other instances where they’ve touched on the abuse in the bunker, and at its heart, the series is a show about characters overcoming obstacles, whether its Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) learning to stand on her own and not depend on a man or Titus (Tituss Burgess) escaping the “sort of a prison of fabulousness that he’s built for himself.”

“I would say Kimmy is the worst of that. And while the show doesn’t talk about it much, in part because we have a main character who doesn’t want to talk about it and because it’s a line to walk, we don’t pretend that what happened in the bunker was the Hogan’s Heroes version of what happened to Kimmy,” Carlock said. “We try to treat it delicately, but I think that’s the first time she’s really kind of run smack-dab into it.”

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