Friday, January 21, 2011

How Hollywood Depicts Sex Offenders Part II

OK, I'm back on this topic.

This morning I read a post on the SOSEN member forum about an episode of Dexter. It was season 5, episode 5, and the writer of the post was upset about how the show portrayed sex offenders; that they're all gang rapist type people. The writer posted an article from the link below. Beware: SPOILER ALERT!!!

I was not provided the "spoiler alert", so I read the article (and admittedly, not sorry I did... spoiler aside). My hubby and I enjoy Dexter, but we are not yet into season 5. Oh well! Too late now, can't erase it from my head, now can I?

Where is that undo button???

Anytime a television show depicts sex offenders, the ratings go up and the blogs getting rolling. A blog that I read regularly posted their thoughts on the topic at:

Now here is my two cents.

As I said in my previous post about this topic, Hollywood downplays anyone committing a sexual offense, especially if that someone is the lead character in a TV show or movie. BUT, here is where we find Hollywood getting contradictory. Anytime a TV show or movie depicts someone (NEVER the lead character) who is already labeled as a "sex offender", that offender is usually depicted as a sick, perverted pedophile or predator. Rarely are those individuals depicted as "regular people" that could have good, loving families, or could have ordinary lives despite the ugly scarlet letter placed on them.

While offenders living under a bridge is a thing of the past, it DID happen, but honestly, that only represented a small percentage of the overall population of registered sex offenders in this country, which is well over 700,000 people. MOST of those people have spouses. Most have children. Most are just trying to get on with life after learning from a single terrible mistake that happened years ago.

In Season 3 of Dexter, I remember Dexter tracks down and kills a photographer who was a registered sex offender. The man had one offense years before. Dexter kills him because he SUSPECTS that the man has ill intentions when the man is seen photographing Dexter's young soon-to-be step-daughter. Perhaps the man had no intentions of bringing any harm whatsoever to the little girl, but because the man is a registered sex offender - and for that reason only - he is hunted down and killed.

If Dexter had seen a man who was photographing children and had discovered that the man had no criminal record of any kind, would he have hunted down and killed him? Certainly not. Doing that would have totally been outside of Dexter's and his dead father's "Code".

So, why do we continue to swallow the garbage that Hollywood throws out at us? Why is it OK for a lead character in a TV show like Californication to get away with committing a sexual offense and why is OK to always depict a (non-lead) "sex offender" character as a perverted pedophile or predator?

Both could have just as easily committed the exact same crime, but in one instance he is a "guy getting lucky" and in the other instance he is a "monster".

Don't you see the fallacy here, folks?

I sure do...

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