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.