Hannibal Will Avoid The Topic Of Rape

In the wake of recent episodes of shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander” which have incorporated rape into their storylines, the topic of “rape culture” in our popular media is one often getting debated about in features, comment boards and on social media platforms these days.

One show that’s certainly dark enough to deal with the horrific crime is that of NBC’s “Hannibal” which has tackled murder, cannibalism and abuse in its time. The show has not yet dealt with rape in any way, but it was thought that might change with the incorporation of the “Red Dragon” storyline from the Thomas Harris novels.

Creator Bryan Fuller however tells EW that you won’t see rape taking over the “Hannibal” storyline this season, despite the source material. In a great posting, he explains why those kinds of stories will not appear on his show:

“It’s one of the things on the show that we really wanted to avoid. They’re ubiquitous on television, and there’s an entire series [NBC’s Law & Order: SVU] that’s about rape. It was challenging approaching the Red Dragon story because the crimes that Francis Dolarhyde commits [in the novel] include the horrible raping of corpses, and near-corpses.

It became a tricky matter of de-emphasizing women being targeted, and making more pronounced the crimes against the victim’s family as a whole. We didn’t wanna glorify it – well, not ‘glorify,’ because I don’t think any of the crime procedural shows are actually ‘glorifying’ rape. But it is certainly explored so frequently that it rarely feels genuine.”

Fuller will not be avoiding it altogether, saying the crime will merely be suggested rather than explicitly shown: “You will have to read between the lines. It happens, but it’s a horrible cherry on top of the sh—y sundae of crimes committed against a family.”

The third season of “Hannibal” kicks off this Thursday (June 4th).