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Westworld Creators Discuss Violence, Reveal Release Date

Image from the sci-fi western series Westworld depicting violence

HBO’s upcoming sci-fi western series Westworld has finally received an official release date. The show will premiere on October 2nd this year. However, the show has recently become the center of discussion for its violent content, much of it directed at women. And during recent panels at a Television Critics Association event, reported on by Deadline, the show’s creatives responded to these concerns.

Synopsis for Westworld

For those who aren’t familiar with the show, here’s a brief synopsis of the series, adapted from Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie of the same name:

A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin, exploring a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.

The sci-fi western series Westworld will star Anthony Hopkins as the creator, chief programmer and founder of Westworld, “who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park.Ed Harris will star as The Man in Black, described as a “distillation of pure villainy into one man,” while Evan Rachel Wood will take on the role of Dolores Abernathy, a rancher’s daughter who discovers he entire life is an elaborate lie.

Questions on Westworld’s Violent Content

In an HBO panel, programming chief Casey Bloys first fielded questions on the subject, saying “I can tell you that violence, it’s not just specific to women. It’s indiscriminate. Plenty of men are killed as well.” Bloys went on to note several examples of violence against men on HBO shows. This wasn’t seen as a satisfying answer by some, who felt like he failed to make the distinction between violence and sexual violence, the latter of which in mostly directed at women.

Bloys added that “I think the criticism is valid. It’s something that people should take into account. It’s not something we’re wanting to highlight.

At a later, Westworld specific panel, the show’s co-creator Lisa Joy responded to the question of the sexualized nature of the violence depicted in the show, saying it was “definitely something we discussed and heavily considered as we worked on the scenes. Westworld is an examination of human nature. The best parts: paternal love, romantic love, the finding of self. But also the basest, including violence and sexual violence, which have sadly been a fact of human history since the beginning of human history.

Image from the sci-fi western series Westworld depicting violence

She went on to say, regarding the sexual violence in Westworld, that “we take it very seriously. It is extraordinarily disturbing and horrifying, so in its portrayal, we endeavor not to be about the fetishization of those events. It’s about exploring the crime and establishing the crime and the torment of the characters within that story…and exploring, hopefully, with dignity and depth.

Westworld Series Teaser

Featured Image: HBO

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