A television show has sparked controversy for depicting graphic rape scenes and asking the viewers if they believe whether an actual assault took place.
The series is named ‘Raped or not’ and is airing the dramatisation of sex scenes to both male and female guests, and asking them if they agree with the verdicts of actual rape cases once in trial courts that the scenes have been based on.
According to producers, the violent scenes in the show do not involve incidents where “someone is dragged into a bush” and attacked, but were about cases that fell into “grey areas”.
“Those are personal dramas. One says rape, the other sees it as an innocent sexual encounter. Our show is about that grey area,” the show’s producer Bernard van den Bosch said.
Critics and the public have lashed out at the series, dismissing the notion that there were “murky areas” in sexual assault allegations, saying that rape is clear-cut in the eyes of the law. Others have just labelled the show as ‘bizarre’.
Some of the real-life cases that have been dramatised include the story of a young male intern who is ‘seduced’ by his female employer, a couple who have sex after a party, where it is difficult to determine if the encounter was consensual, and scores of others.
Geraldine Kemper, the host of the series, says the incidents shown on TV aren’t “in which someone is dragged into the bushes and raped”.
“There is no discussion about whether or not that is rape. But in many situations it is much murkier.”
The series comes as top Hollywood executives like Harvey Weinstein and James Tobback, and high-profile actors like Kevin Spacey, face mounting sexual abuse allegations.
The allegations have staretd the Twitter hashtag #MeToo – where people have come out and spoken about their own experiences about being assaulted or harassed.
A spokesperson for “Raped or Not’, Desiree Bekker, suggested the show had not prompted widespread controversy.
She told The Independent: “No, not really. But it has caused discussion on what is going on now with the #MeToo campaign and it is good this is being discussed.”
“The timing of the show is unbelievable, it’s a total coincidence,” she added.
The first of three episodes of the show will air on Tuesday.
This article originally appeared in The Independent