LOS ANGELES, March 9 — Sophie Turner has addressed her controversial sexual abuse scene in Game of Thrones in a new essay for Huffington Post.
The actress who plays Sansa Stark on the popular HBO fantasy show said that it led her to become actively involved in women’s rights and the fight against domestic violence.
The star found herself embroiled in a huge controversy when her 15-year-old character was raped by villain Ramsay Bolton on their wedding night in season five.
Despite the outcry, Turner strongly defended the show’s need to depict the incident.
“My active interest in women’s rights and the fight against domestic violence only really became acute after one of my scenes from season five of Game of Thrones aired,” she wrote.
“To be completely honest, my initial reaction was satisfaction: That rape, domestic violence and systemic sexual inequality is something we are capable of talking about... I don’t think it’s easy to overstate the importance of that dialogue; if, by seeing us tell that part of Sansa’s story, 10 survivors of sexual violence felt empowered to talk about their experience, I’ll happily put up with the Twitter storm in a teacup.”
In the piece that was written to coincide with International Women’s Day, the 20-year-old actress opened up about why it is essential that these stories be told on screen.
“I found it vulgar that talking heads online had decided that Game of Thrones — known for its unflinching depictions of incest, slavery (sexual and otherwise) and a brother’s reproductive coercion of his sister — ought not depict rape,” she explained.
“It would be a vulgar failure on our part as storytellers, to be happily silent on a matter that affects our sisters, mothers, daughters, nieces, cousins every day, all over the world.
“I’m proud to be part of a show that won’t be content to give unproblematic accounts of being a woman in a patriarchal society; if it falls to a fantasy show to portray the reality of domestic and sexual violence, so be it.”