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Star attacks TV women abuse levels

Published 05/05/2015

Jessica Raine arriving at the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Charlie. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Jessica Raine arriving at the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Charlie. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

Former Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine has criticised the raft of dramas on TV in which "women get abused".

The actress recently appeared as Jane Rochford in historical drama Wolf Hall, while police corruption series Line Of Duty - in which she starred as DC Georgia Trotman - is in the running for a Bafta.

Asked about her own TV viewing habits, Raine, who shot to fame as nurse Jenny Lee in Call The Midwife, told Radio Times magazine that the schedules contained too much violence.

"It depends on whether I'm working - at the moment I'm catching up on a lot, although I wonder where the tipping point will be when it comes to dark drama," she said.

"I've had enough of watching women get abused."

The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, Silent Witness, Ripper Street and Scandinavian crime series The Bridge have been criticised for their levels of violence.

Raine's comments come after Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville, whose novels have been adapted into BBC1 noir crime series Quirke, pointed to the plethora of violent crime dramas featuring sexual violence.

"One thing that worries me about crime series these days is just how violent they all are," he said.

"I mean, they nearly all start off with some young woman being raped and murdered and cut up and thrown in a dustbin."

Fellow novelist Ann Cleeves - the best-selling crime writer behind TV dramas Vera and Shetland - has also spoken out on the issue, saying: "I don't believe in a psychopath who hates women because his grandmother stuck him in a cupboard when he was seven or his mother was a prostitute.

"These sorts of facile, glib reasons for somebody to go out and sadistically kill women, I just don't believe them."

Dame Helen Mirren has said that she believes that too many victims in crime shows are women, while acclaimed playwright Sir David Hare criticised the mounting "body count" and lack of realism in contemporary film and TV drama.

BBC Director-General Lord Hall recently defended a rape storyline in pre-watershed soap EastEnders and said that The Fall had been "critically very well received".

"There's a range of drama and it's right that our dramas look at very tough issues in a way that is sensitive. If (violence against women) was the entirety of what we did, I would be concerned, but it's not," he said.

Raine did hail Game Of Thrones as "totally encompassing, thematic (and a) genius piece of television" despite the hit HBO drama being accused of misogyny.

And she said of her future career: "I feel like I've been quite miserable on telly lately so I would love to have a go at some comedy."

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