‘True Blood’ Thinks Strippers Are Good for Food

Last night’s “True Blood” was a weird one. No one really knows why Bill is doing what he’s doing (to protect Sookie, we assume, but…really??), werewolves get high on V and brand peopl, and Sookie’s physique is that of a prize-winning bodybuilder.

So, whatever. That’s all in good fun. But  things started to get a little dicey for me when Bill’s limo pulled up outside a strip club, and his new vampire boss told him to “procure” a human — i.e., to go in there and find someone for them to eat. Who in the world, I wondered, do the writers think that audiences won’t mind seeing die as vampire food?

My fears about where they were going with this only got worse when Lorena requested someone “ethnic.” But as it turns out, “True Blood” writers assume that all mainstream America needs to know is that someone is a stripper, and it becomes relatively OK for them to be murdered. At least, it’s more OK for them to die then for someone else. Because obviously, as the show told us, no one loves her, she loves no one, she has no reason to live, and in fact she hates life. Easily understandable, since she’s nothing but a common whore!

Yup — thanks for that, HBO. That was cliche, stupid and incredibly offensive. Sex workers get raped and murdered on the regular in this country, and our very own criminal justice system often rules that they had what was coming to them. Way to play to the lowest common American denominator by assuming that strippers are the people that this country cares the least about, that have the least amount of human value, and that would be the best choice to have brought on the show as vampire food.

Listen — let’s be real. There’s probably no one they could have chosen to fill that role that would have been un-offensive. So why not just leave it a bit of a mystery? Grab someone off the street, without showing their face, and have them get eaten. Or, God forbid, have them feast on a man. But why play into every single sex worker stereotype to justify the senseless killing of one? Even if the general public didn’t already think of sex workers as disposable, it would be wildly offensive. But too often they do,  and “True Blood” just pretty much reinforced it.

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    • Eileen

      This is a show that depicts humans being sexually attracted to monsters who have to try to resist (and sometimes fail to resist) the desire to murder them – and tries to draw an analogy between these monsters and LGBT people, who just want to live normal, non-murderous lives. Sex-related violence from “True Blood” isn’t exactly new.

    • Terra

      Although True Blood does have some questionable moments, that is not at all the message I was getting from that scene. After Bill’s whole questioning sequence of “Do you have a husband? Where is your family?” I’m under the impression that they chose a strip club hoping that the choices that lead someone to embarking upon that proffession may have less people to miss them. Not that strippers aren’t loved, but the fact is it does tend to be a last resort job, and it isn’t something you highly advertise to ma’ and pa’ once you’re making a living from it.