Rape is not entertainment
Posted by charliegrrl on February 12, 2007
The Verdict is a ficticious rape trail with celebrity juries, including celebrity men who have been violent to women, who decide if the man on trial is guilty of rape or should I say, if the woman is guilty of lying… All in the name of celebrity-orientated entertainment. Needless to say the programme reinforces myths surrounding rape.
The Guardian: The case involves a young woman called Anna Crane from Epsom, who goes to see the musical Chicago with her best friend in London.
After the show they wind up in a hotel cocktail bar where the friend spots celebrity footballer Damien Scott and his friend, a less successful player called James Greer. They retire to Scott’s suite where one of two things happens to Anna Crane: either she has consensual sex with Scott or she is gang-raped. Both defendants plead not guilty.
Crane decides not to go to the police. Instead, her best friend sells the story of her alleged rape to a Sunday newspaper for £30,000 and covertly tapes Anna describing the assaults. This tape was played in court to the celebrity jury who have to make up their minds as to whether it is a harrowing confession or a fake tape concocted by two money-grabbing girls.
So basically a sensational rape trial characterising rape victims as money-grabbing liars.
Hari in The Guardian gives a good critique of the programme:
As we watch a rape victim being picked to pieces by a lawyer who jeers at her sexual history and jabs that her friend behaved “provocatively” (so what?), it becomes obvious why 75 per cent of rape victims never approach the police. And as we watch the “jury” discuss the case, spewing out antediluvian myths about rape victims with barely a splutter from the rest, it becomes clear why so many rapists walk free.
“What is she doing going to a guy’s room?” Collymore asks, as if there is no line between entering a man’s hotel room in a large group and agreeing to anal sex with him. Megaman agrees. “It puzzles me she’s not looking at anyone when she speaks,” he says, and later adds with a jeer, “How can you be raped anally and vaginally and not [immediately] take it to the police?” (If he had been pinned down and raped, would he want to talk about it at once, to strangers, with full eye contact and a winning smile?)
Stephen Lambert, who is part of the media group who made The Verdict, refers to rape trials as a contest between ‘two interpretations of reality’. So on the one hand, a woman saying she has been raped, and on the other, a man arguing that his right to invade a woman’s body is the same as consent. Listen to his interview on Woman’s Hour
Please complain via
- Phone: 08700 100 222
- Textphone/Minicom: 08700 100 212
- Write: BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Glasgow G2 3WT
- Online: http://www.bbc. co.uk/complaints /make_complaint_ step1.shtml (make sure you tick ‘make official complaint)
More details of how to complain
Thanks to Bea and LFN for the photos, and also Truth About Rape and Falling Star for info