Controversial Dutch TV show ‘Raped or Not’ to air

By @chelean on
A glass gavel is seen in the office of judge Joaquim Barbosa during an interview with Reuters at the Supreme Court building in Brasilia November 19, 2012. REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino
A glass gavel is seen in the office of judge Joaquim Barbosa during an interview with Reuters at the Supreme Court building in Brasilia November 19, 2012. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

A controversial TV show called “Raped or Not?” will air in the Netherlands next week despite inviting outrage from the public. The program will re-enact real life court cases about alleged rapes, and a panel of young people will discuss the judge’s ruling if they thought the victims were indeed rape.

The show has sparked backlash from Dutch audiences who thought it was an insensitive effort to air so-called entertainment. The program, particularly the title, apparently trivialises serious crimes.

“Those are personal dramas. One says rape, the other sees it as an innocent sexual encounter,” producer Bernard Van den Bosch is quoted by Metro as saying. “Our show is about that grey area.

Host Geraldine Kemper has also defended the show, saying it’s time society talks about consent to change false stereotypes. The cases in the show do not involved parties who were strangers to each other. Kemper said it’s often falsely thought that rapists are unknown to victims.

“There is no discussion about that. But in many situations, it is much murkier,” she said, adding that she herself was not sure when she saw the first images of some cases if they involved rape. “But by having a discussion together, our ideas about it can change. That is what we want to reach with this program.”

The show will feature a panel of 14 young people giving their views. The first episode will show a former couple who end up having sex after attending a party. It’s unclear if both consented. Another episode, the Daily Mail reports, will show a young man who has just started to work in a company as an intern when his female boss “seduces” him after work.

Van den Bosch claimed most of the outrage from the public was due to the show’s title. He said the public has questioned its timing as well.

It will premiere on Nov. 7 amidst the multiple allegations of sexual harassments and rapes against Hollywood heavyweights, including film producer Harvey Weinstein and multi-award-winning actor Kevin Spacey among a few more.

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