Hollywood has a bad reputation for representing women poorly in television and film, but Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer says men don’t have it much easier.
According to the Guardian, Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, claims that the world of television automatically objectifies both men and women on screen. In a world where companies have to fight for ratings, it’s a game to sell sexualized images of beautiful people better than your competitors. Of course the content of the show is important, but as a show like Game of Thrones illustrates, sex is often a major player.
“My personal experience has been to work on phenomenal jobs in which the men are objectified as much as the women,” said Natalie Dormer. “Actors suffer from it, too. Wasn’t there a thing about Aidan Turner in Poldark? It’s a visual medium, so to a certain extent you get judged on the way you look.”
But she also claims it’s not just about sex and physicality. Natalie Dormer says male and female actors often fall into a continuous loop of getting typecast on television.
“We’re not just talking about being slim here. We’re talking about character actors with big eyes getting typecast in the ‘friend’ role. It’s not just about bed-ability: it’s about your physicality more generally.”
Dormer spoke to the Telegraph about how both sexes are objectified on television, but defended her show by claiming it presents sex and violence in a more realistic, gritty environment.
“I think Thrones is quite good in that way,” said Natalie Dormer. “The violence is quite naturalistic. It’s not hyper-stylised. It’s not glamorised. And the sex is quite real and dirty as well. It’s about those raw, visceral qualities of human life that make good drama.”
She also claimed that, while Game of Thrones gets criticized for being too sexual, it’s representing a part of real human interaction.
“Sex and romance is a huge part of human motivation. So long as it’s informing a story then I don’t see what the problem is.”
What do you think? Are men and women objectified equally on television? Do you think Game of Thrones can be held accountable for objectification if it’s only reflecting an authentic part of humanity?
Catch Game of Thrones on Sundays on HBO. For Season 6 spoilers, click here.
[Image credit: Tim P. Whitby / Stringer / Getty Images and HBO]