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Game of Thrones rape scene slammed

A rape scene on TV's Game Of Thrones has been condemned by critics including a US politician.

In a tweet, Missouri Democratic senator Claire McCaskill described the episode's sexual assault as "gratuitous" and "disgusting".

Other critics included the website The Mary Sue, which offers a feminist view of pop culture. The website posted that it would no longer promote the HBO series and said rape was not a device to drive a story.

HBO declined to comment on the reaction to the episode that debuted last Sunday.

The attack involved newly-married characters Sansa, played by Sophie Turner, and Ramsay, portrayed by Iwan Rheon. Ramsay's rape of Sansa was off-camera, suggested in her cries and the distress on a bystander's face.

The scene differed from the work of George RR Martin, whose novels are the basis of Game Of Thrones. In Martin's work, a different character marries Ramsay and is sexually assaulted by another man at Ramsay's direction.

Last season, HBO was blasted over another rape scene, involving incestuous lovers, and the show's ongoing graphic violence also has drawn criticism.

Despite the attacks, Game Of Thrones remains a steady hit in its fifth season.

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