Still from Netflix's "The Witcher" TV show
April 14, 2020

Netflix’s “The Witcher” is Yet Another Example of Exploitation in Entertainment

The Witcher is known for its sex,” says The Decider (an online media outlet owned by the New York Post). For the uninitiated, The Witcher is a TV show based on a video game which is being produced and hosted by Netflix, a corporation currently listed on our 2020 Dirty Dozen List.

The first season of the show was originally released on the platform in December 2019 and Netflix already has a second season in production, though work is currently halted due to COVID-19. The Witcher is rated TV-MA and, unfortunately, it didn’t get that rating for simulated violence alone.

The TV show contains nudity in almost every episode. “There is even a graphic sex scene where an audience is present,” writes one reviewer. In the first season alone, the storyline has found ways to introduce a fully-depicted orgy with oral sex prominently display, sexual intercourse with full female and male nudity, and a host of other sexually graphic acts.

In one particularly troubling scene, “the people involved are under a magical influence and are shown being confused and disoriented when the spell lifts, raising issues of consent. There are also references to rape and incest.”

This isn’t a surprise for those familiar with the video game series. The most recent Witcher game contains up to eight instances in which the male lead character may “woo” acquaintances resulting in sexual acts. In this process, players can “unlock scenes complete with full frontal nudity and nothing blurred. The scenes are so graphic you can literally find compilations of them on porn sites,” says Distractify.

Emilia Clarke and Jason Momoa in Game of Thrones
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From the moment the first trailer was released, Netflix’s The Witcher teased gratuitous nudity and graphic sexual acts. The trailer is available to watch on YouTube, Twitter, and a multitude of other places online, which means that the graphic trailer is available to young children who often peruse sites such as YouTube.

As we have explained in our Dirty Dozen List, when Netflix (or any studio) produces content of this nature they are facilitating the sexual exploitation of not only their actors, but of anyone who views the show’s content.

In a world where we are rightfully calling people to account for sexually objectifying, harassing, abusing, and exploiting their fellow human beings, it is far past time that we as a society stopped turning a blind eye to the ways that popular culture and entertainment sexually exploit performers and normalize those types of actions in the stories and content they create.

It’s also problematic that Netflix continues to put out such sexually graphic material when they still have so much need for improvement when it comes to their family safety/parental control features. While you’re thinking about it, you can use the form below to email Netflix executives about fixing those problems ASAP.

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Aubrey Pound

Communications Specialist

Aubrey Pound is a communications specialist at NCOSE and helps the organization broadcast its message and mission on a national and international scale. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a minor in Family Life from Brigham Young University. Her overarching goal in life is to do good in any way possible. Aubrey is passionate about protecting vulnerable populations, especially women and children, by bringing visibility to the struggles they unequally face in areas such as sexual exploitation. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future.

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