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Actress Doon Mackichan hits out at on-screen violence against women

Published 07/10/2016

The actress said it was time for programme-makers to 'bring the body count down'
The actress said it was time for programme-makers to 'bring the body count down'

Actress Doon Mackichan has criticised the use of "brutalised women" being used as "entertainment fodder" in television dramas such as The Fall.

The Smack The Pony star called on broadcasters to "bring the body count down" in a new documentary for BBC Radio 4 in which she examines the prevalence of scenes of sexual violence involving women.

Mackichan focuses on shows such as The Killing, Luther and True Detective as well as interviewing The Fall writer and director Allan Cubitt.

BBC drama The Fall - currently in its third series - stars Gillian Anderson as DSI Gibson, a detective on the trail of serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).

The show has come under fire for scenes in which women are subjected to brutal treatment, and has been branded misogynistic.

Cubitt, who has hit out over criticism of the show before, told Mackichan: "I don't know how you could possibly argue The Fall is misogynistic. The Fall sets out to critique these things.

"My mantra was always that we shouldn't sensationalise it, but we shouldn't sanitise it either."

Mackichan concedes The Fall is "beautifully shot", but adds: "We've reached zero tolerance of these overused images and can move on from stories of brutalised women as entertainment fodder."

Mackichan also interviews an actress named as "Sophie" who has twice played a rape victim - who said she felt it was being used as "titillation", and regrets playing the part.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4's Seriously... podcast, Mackichan said she would "like there to be a real sea change... because it bleeds into our culture".

"We do have a lot of what I call crime porn. The onus is with commissioners who commission these programmes, and with screenwriters ... who are pandering to the appetite that has been created."

Last month, Cubitt said he was left "very upset" by criticism of The Fall, but he now deems the opinion "absurd".

"It was something I had to talk to my daughter about who has counselled me very well," he said, adding: "I can't say I've never made any errors or could have done something better or something different, but I know myself and I know these guys and I know what we're all about, and that's just an absurd comment."

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