The Newsroom seems to be courting late controversy.
The Newsroom hasn't been very good. I mean, it's been fine, but on the whole it's been uneventful at best and skin-crawlingly cringeworthy at the very worst. Now, with just one episode to go before the studio lights go down on Aaron Sorkin's drama, an unexpected controversy has reared its ugly head.
Aaron Sorkin has come in for controversy for his Newsroom rape storyline
In Sunday's episode Oh Shenandoah, a rape storyline was strangely introduced at the 11th hour. It concerns Thomas Sadoski's character Don, who visited a college student played by Sarah Sutherland for a pre-interview about her rape and the subsequent inaction by the campus authorities. Don eventually persuaded the student not to air her story on his news show, leading critics to take issue with Sorkin's stance on the issue, saying that he was victim-blaming the woman.
In one segment, the student tells Dom, "The law is plainly failing rape victims. That must be obvious to you."
Dom responds: "It is, but in fairness, the law wasn't built to serve victims... I've heard two competing stories, one from a very credible woman who has no reason to lie, the other from a guy I judge to be a little sketchy who has every reason to lie, and I'm obligated to believe the sketchy guy... I believe I'm morally obligated. I'm the guy who goes around saying O.J.'s not guilty because a jury said so."
Emily Nussbaum, TV critic at the New Yorker, called it a "crazy-making" episode, though Newsroom writer Alena Smith responded on Twitter, saying, "You can't criticize Sorkin without turning into one of his characters.So when I tried to argue, in the writers' room, that we maybe skip the storyline where a rape victim gets interrogated by a random man... I ended up getting kicked out of the room and screamed at just like Hallie would have for a "bad tweet." I found the experience quite boring. I wanted to fight with Aaron about the NSA, not gender. I didn't like getting cast in his outdated role."
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