Game of Thrones has received criticism on a number front including from the creator of a rival show, the cast of a series about sexual research and, most bizarrely, China.
Game of Thrones has made headlines again and, for the second week in a row, it's not good news for the hit HBO series. The show has been criticised by the Masters of Sex cast, condemned by the creator of the History channel series Vikings and has been censored in China.
Lizzy Caplan, of Masters of Sex, claimed GoT is simply about sex and dragons.
The criticism of sex scenes and the highly sexualised content of the fantasy series, based on the novels by George R.R. Martin, has been the primary focus of commentators. The cast of Masters of Sex - Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen - referred to GoT whilst describing the importance of intimacy in their show's sex scenes as The Huffington Post reports.. Appearing at the TV Academy Panel last week, Caplan said: "Our show is about sex and intimacy whereas other shows are about other things, maybe dragons. No disrespect at all, but it does feel at times that it's like, time out dragons, let's watch these people get it on with each other."
Caplan's comments have been echoed by Michael Hirst, creator of Vikings, who claimed GoT was simply "soft porn". Hirst was asked by Time about the comparison between his show and GoT and he responded by condemning the show. Although Hirst claimed the series is "well written" and that it is "very popular", he also stated GoT "is a very, very different show." He further emphasised the differences between Vikings and GoT, stating GoT "is a fantasy show, and it has a lot of things which are very appealing to an audience. It is soft porn, and it has a lot of gratuitous stuff in it."
Some of the cast of Game of Thrones including writer George R.R. Martin (centre).
However, typically of many of those who criticise on principle, Hirst admitted he does not watch the show, adding "I don't watch it because I don't ever want to be accused of being influenced by it."
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Furthermore, GoT has also been at the centre of discussions on how we view and portray rape in popular culture. A number of commentators have criticised the descriptions of sexualised punishment in the books and how this is presented on screen.
Game of Thrones has been heavily censored in China and left viewers furious with around twenty minutes of the show's gore and nudity cut. The Washington Post has discussed in depth the cultural, and evidently unnerving for the Chinese government, similarities between Westeros and China. These include the Wall separating the North from the wildings as the Great Wall of China; Dragstone as the disputed island of Taiwan; and general issues of uprising provinces and leaders.
GoT has been criticised for its portrayal of sexual assault.