Statement: HBO’s New Westworld Promotes Rape Culture

NCOSE Press Statement logo

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington, DC – The new HBO series, Westworld, premiered Sunday night. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) publicly admonishes HBO for continuing to promote rape culture through its programming.

“HBO is building a legacy of rape culture entertainment,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “The first episode of HBO’s latest series, Westworld, contains a reference to the raping of a corpse, uses brothels as a backdrop for full frontal nudity, and includes a disturbing rape scene that would likely re-traumatize viewers who have experienced sexual assault. Why does HBO insist on making sadistic themes of sexual violence against women the cornerstone of its entertainment formula? No corporation that so regularly promotes the degradation and abuse of the female body can respect women. I am calling on HBO to stop piping scenes of sexual objectification and violence into millions of American’s homes. HBO’s commitment to portraying sexual objectification and sexual violence against women is not only socially irresponsible, it is anti-woman, and more importantly anti-human.”

HBO is listed on NCOSE’s 2016 Dirty Dozen List, a list that names and shames 12 mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation. You can learn more here:

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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