By George Flynn | Opinions Editor
Censorship has been an incredible issue since before I was even a thought. Every year, a multitude of events happen that seem to push the envelope. I remember Madonna kissed Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears on stage at the 2003 VMAs. It was so controversial that people found it to be too risqué for television. However, 10 years later, many people don’t really find anything wrong with this at all. Television and film seem to take it to the next level when it comes to the issue of censorship.
Now, the CW, considered to be a very family friendly channel which shows television series like the Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, has made even bolder moves in the entertainment industry.
The CW’s new series Reign depicts a youthful Mary, Queen of Scots in the sixteenth century. I’ve never watched it before, but many of my friends spend their Thursday nights in front of a screen getting lost in the time period of monarchy, scandal and seduction.
Seduction is the key word. The CW decided to try and bring more viewers to the show with posting an explicit version of an episode online. According to the New York Daily News, the online episode includes two racy sex scenes.
“In the first scene, a bare-backed woman sits astride a man moaning as they climax together. In the second, the show’s heroine, Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane), consummates her marriage to the French prince in a room full of royal onlookers — as was the custom in that time.” Kaplan said.
Although some might be upset by the channel’s strides to make sexually explicit material available to the public because of youthful viewers, this can create more good than bad.
The show and network are attempting to match other hit television shows which are sexually explicit. The ever so popular, Game of Thrones is extremely sexually explicit and has plenty of viewers. HBO has been portraying sexual acts on its network for years with television hits such as Sex and the City and True Blood. It is no wonder that a network such as the CW would want to move up in the ranks with adult television networks.
Another positive for this is that this scene is not being shown on network television, but online. It should not cause this much controversy, as it is only being viewed by people who are searching to see this episode online.
The audience viewing the material has the opportunity to have a positive experience as well. Viewing explicit material gives the audience a chance to witness sexual acts on television, which will give audiences of all ages to see a television series be realistic in a new way.
When it comes to the show Reign, one of the sex scenes offers something deeper than controversy. According to the Daily News article, a sex scene between the Queen Mary and her husband is a historical example. When Mary consummates her marriage with her husband, many royals viewed them, making the intimate moment a public display of affection. This act was historic, thus giving the audience an educational experience.
This is an incredible step for television, as less than 100 years ago films were repressed by Film Production Codes. Films were not only unable to portray sexual acts, but verbal profanities, child birth and any form of suggestive nudity. This code was in place from the 1930’s to the 1960’s.
To think 50 years later, a public channel decides to reveal a suggestive scene to the public after years of repression of societal taboos in the film industry is a colossal feat.
Yes, this might be viewed as a huge problem for family viewers watching the show; however, looking at the bigger picture, people in society are having the chance to have real life situations appear more realistic on television. The need to shelter the eyes of the world from material is becoming less and less important, thus creating a more self-aware world.
George Flynn is a senior English major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.