Ronald D. Moore Addresses Male Sexual Violence in the ‘Outlander’ Finale

[Spoiler Alert: If you have not read Outlander or seen the finale, it would be best to skip this post for now.]

Episode 115 Preview

Outlander executive producer Ronald D. Moore discussed the sexual violence that takes place between Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Jack (Tobias Menzies) in the last two episodes of Season One of the show.  The article does a good job of pointing out other shows that have shown male on male sexual violence.  Most of the shows deal with it in a prison setting, and Outlander is no different, but the time period is.

“It’s not the usual place you take your male lead characters,” admits executive producer Ronald D. Moore, the sci-fi maestro celebrated for Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

He explains that in reading the Outlander canon when he began work on the series, he realized this scene, looming for him at season’s end, would pose a special challenge.

“There was a lot of conversation in the writers room about how we were going to make the adaptation to film,” he says. “And once we had our scripts, I carved out extra time for the actors so they would be prepared for where we were gonna go.

“I don’t like depictions of torture on camera,” he says. “To shoot this, I had to tell myself, ‘I’m going to be as frank, direct and truthful as I can, but there’s a point where I wouldn’t want to watch it. And that’s the point where I’m going to cut.’ I don’t want to lose my audience, and I don’t want to lose ME — I couldn’t lose my own investment in the story by going to a place I felt was exploitative, which I detest.”

You can read the entire article on The Chronicle Herald (via AP).

Source: The Chronicle Herald

  • Lori Teague Mulder

    Bravo!! Ronald D. Moore has done an amazing job with Outlander. I am looking forward to tomorrow night at 9pm on Starz…

  • Yvette Goenaga

    I still have not summoned up the courage to watch the episode but after reading this I am happy Ron has this opinion. I think Game of thrones could use this same advice.

    • Sunshineyness

      I actually just discussed GoT sex in comparison to Outlander with a male friend today. I compared Jack Randall to Jofferey and told him how Jofferey seems such a juvenile written character in comparison; a larger than life sociopath basically; almost cartoonish. Whereas Jack Randall is the sociopath you hear about getting apprehended every now and then for attacking people. The kind that shock people because they come off so “normal.” But are protected by a society that views well born men and officers as untouchable. A villain of vile tastes that in our society might have been caught sooner but in another time hides behind rank and file to commit his own.

      • Yvette Goenaga

        Completely agree. Joffrey is a caricature of a villain. Just as deadly but there is very little guile or cunning to him. Black Jack on the other hand, like an onion reveals himself in small slices. What made the Garrison Commander episode so interesting and tense is that for a moment he listens to Claire and there’s beat when you believe he has some small bit of humanity. Then he pulls the rug out from under. Tobias Menzies plays this subtlety so well.

    • Lori

      I didn’t see the GOT scene I have heard referred to so much, but I have seen the show, so agree that the character of Joffrey and BJR are definitely not one and the same in texture. BJR is sadistic, yes, but he is also intelligent, calculating and has feelings for Jamie that even he doesn’t understand. This episode was about so much more than rape and the power that gave BJR over Jamie. The crux of this episode and the thing that spins it around is the love Claire has for Jamie, the purity and completeness of that. And obviously, he has the love of Murtagh and the rest of the rescuers. That part of the episode really helps to tamp down the violence and cruelty displayed by BJR. It is the triumph the characters needed to help them move forward. Seeing the rape and torture scenes was very disturbing, but honestly, the removal of the brand and the hanging scenes were equally difficult to view. It’s all part of the story and I am very glad they did it justice.

  • Sunshineyness

    I actually really respect this show even more if it leads to people having real and frank talks about male sexual violence. It’s a topic a lot of people don’t give proper gravitas to sometimes.

  • Outlandishly_hooked

    I was in awe of the actors in this episode as well as of the writers and crew. These difficult scenes were so very well performed and written. Everyone’s dignity was preserved. Congratulations to you all… Cast, writers and crew.

  • Duante Amorculo

    glad they addressed male rape and more importantly feeling pleasure during rape. enjoyment of a sexual ACT does not determine sexual ORIENTATION. many
    men would not admit so, but if they received oral sex from a bottom boi,
    who does it ‘properly’, they would likely enjoy it just as if it was a
    woman doing it. that does not make them ‘gay’. being gay is the DESIRE
    TO BE WITH only men, including finding them ATTRACTIVE etc. what we feel
    during sexual pleasure is the body’s NATURAL response to enjoyable
    stimuli. and when ALREADY AROUSED, the body is more receptive of
    pleasurable stimuli. there have even been many cases of women feeling
    pleasure and even having orgasms while being raped. THIS DOES NOT
    NECESSARILY MEAN they ‘liked’ being raped. but as much as she may
    resist, if the cauc is fat and they are wet, there is likely little they
    can do to stop feeling pleasure when they’re being stuffed. bottomline
    is, there is a lot that goes into pleasure and it has little to do with
    sexual orientation. what IS IMPORTANT is that victims, such as in
    jamie’s case even niyla styers enjoying being eaten out, not be made to
    feel guilty because they ‘enjoyed’ it. their significant others need to
    try to understand that it was simply a physiological response and not
    dare claim that it’s something they (victim) would like happen again.
    claire did the right thing in showing jamie she did not care in the
    least. claire did the right thing by showing jamie she did not care in the
    least that he enjoyed being bullered

    loved how meaty & juicy this season was. so thick and rife with tension
    that it left you gripping and clinging to the edge of your seat.