April 25, 2016

STATEMENT: Game of Thrones Normalizes Sexual Violence

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington, DC –  The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) held a press conference today calling on HBO executives to stop promoting pornified entertainment in the TV series Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones has excelled in turning brutal sexual violence into mainstream entertainment,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Since 2011, HBO has relentlessly brought the ambiance of torture pornography into American living rooms through Game of Thrones’ explicit depictions of rape, incest, prostitution, and sexual violence. This cocktail of pornography and twisted plot lines must be denounced as socially irresponsible, especially in an age when American society is struggling to combat the crises of sexual assault and rape culture.”

“While the 6th season premiere refrained from explicit sexually violent content due to backlash from the last season’s gratuitous rape scenes, one episode does not constitute a trend—the show runners must consistently work to prove that Game of Thrones is no longer dedicated to normalizing sexual violence,” Hawkins continued. “Some associated with the Game of Thrones franchise have claimed that scenes depicting sexual violence merely represent real-to-life, historic scenarios, but it is clear that the show’s creators are fixated on producing unjustifiably sexually graphic scenes,” Hawkins continued. “In stark contrast, films like The Shawshank Redemption and The Color Purple manage to convey the gravity of rape in a plotline without exploiting it in a way that is salacious or dehumanizing. Game of Thrones, however, has consistently crossed the line of decency by grotesquely depicting rape, incest, prostitution, and sexual violence in a manner that turns viewers into vicarious participants. For its incessant themes of sexual violence, Game of Thrones would be more aptly named Shame of Thrones.”

Game of Thrones is on HBO, an American premium cable network, which has been placed on NCOSE’s 2016 Dirty Dozen List for its production of increasingly pornographic sexual content. You can learn more at DirtyDozenList.com.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.

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