We live in an age of increasing awareness and what used to be OK is now correctly identified as not. Some people refer to this as political correctness, and perhaps there is a limit to how far it needs to go, but I don’t have a problem with it.

So what sort of responsibility do creators have to their audience to present information and entertainment as such? It’s been something on my mind increasingly more and more as of late.

For example, very popular TV show uses nudity, graphic violence, rape, torture in I’d say 99% of their episodes. It’s hugely popular, and those against the graphic nature of it, especially the treatment of rape as a plot device are often told, “That’s just how things were back then (Ignore the fact this is an imaginary world setting and there is no back then. It was a choice to make this normal.).”

But why do we settle for that weak defense? Do creators have responsibility to shame these terrible acts after they’ve shown them to indicate to audiences these are bad things?

In torture or maiming scenes in many novels the person disfigured is hardly ever shown to suffer lasting repercussions psychologically or really deal with the fallout of such events in any way. To me personally, that’s lazy and ignorant writing.

A victim’s after story is seldom told or even touched upon in so many forms of media and entertainment. Do creators owe their audience these things? Should they be included? Or have we become a society that just wants to see the trauma without dealing with what comes after?

I personally feel stories are weakened by using such plot devices for shock value and then never mentioning it again or showing how it affected that character. These are life-changing events that real people experience, and I think seeing myself mirrored in media, but a me who is unchanged would turn me away (and has) from that creator or their works.

Thoughts?

 

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