This is why Sophie Turner was “angry” at the response to her controversial “GoT” rape scene
Although beloved by many, HBO’s Game of Thrones has sparked several controversies throughout the years regarding its portrayal of both rape and nudity. One of the show’s major characters, Sansa Stark, was the victim of a horrific and controversial rape in Season 5. But Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa, was angry at the public’s response to the scene.
"I was happy people were talking about it. But I was angry they put all their effort into [debating] a television sexual assault when it happens around the world every day, and you barely hear of it."
Turner’s recent statement are in line with previous comments she made to TIME earlier this year. In the article, she asserts that Sansa’s rape, perpetrated by her then-onscreen husband Ramsay Bolton, was used to bolster her drive to gain independence.
But many saw it as yet another example of sexual assault used for the sake of entertainment.
"This was the trending topic on Twitter," Turner said to TIME, "and it makes you wonder, when it happens in real life, why isn’t it a trending topic every time?"
"This was a fictional character, and I got to walk away from it unscathed," she continued. "Let’s take that discussion and that dialogue and use it to help people who are going through that in their everyday lives. Stop making it such a taboo, and make it a discussion."
While it’s understandable that many take issuewith onscreensexual violence, Turner raises an interesting point: Why are fictional portrayals of assault acceptable to talk about openly when real-life victims are so often shamed into silence? Why can we all agree that Sansa was a victim, when so many real-life women are doubted and belittled when they come forward?
Whether you believe the controversial scene was a necessary part of Sansa’s development or not, we think that conversations involving power dynamics, assault, and victimhood should be the norm, not the exception, when a fictional show happens to bring them to our attention.
Let’s use this as a reminder to stay focused and aware of these issues every day, because as Turner pointed out, it’s happening every day.