Actress Jessica Chastain and director Ava DuVernay are criticizing HBO for the show’s characterization of rape and its handling of race — problems considerably more pressing than someone forgetting to remove a rogue coffee cup from its Winterfell Party scene.
Chastain’s comments come after a scene in Sunday’s episode, “The Last of the Starks,” where The Hound remarks to Sansa that she was “broken in rough” by Littlefinger and Ramsay Bolton, two characters who abused her in previous seasons — on top of her traumatic marriage to Joffrey Lannister.
Sansa responds that “without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would’ve stayed a little bird all my life.”
Chastain was not having it. She posted a photo of Sansa atop the Iron Throne, commenting, “rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly. The #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.”
The comment, which has about 40k likes, echoes some of the critiques launched at HBO after Sunday’s episode, including the show’s killing off of Missandei — which DuVernay points out was the show’s only woman of color, and one with very few lines.
“So… the one and only sister on the whole epic, years-long series? That’s what you wanna do? Okay,” she tweeted. The actress who plays Missandei, Nathalie Emmanuel, retweeted DuVernay’s tweet.
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