Recent episodes of the NBC soap opera, Days of Our Lives, have taken heat on social media for the way in which they are portraying mental illness. Fans of the show are outraged by what they are calling sexual assault between two characters.
The most recent Days of Our Lives storyline revealed that Abigail DiMera is suffering from a condition known as DID, or Dissociative Identity Disorder. DID is more widely known by the term Multiple Personality Disorder. An inability to cope with the murder of Andre DiMera has caused Abby’s psyche to fragment into two alter personalities: Dr. Laura and Gabby.
The Inquisitr recently reported that, as Abby’s dark-haired alternate personality got more air time, Days of Our Lives fans dubbed her as “Gabigail.” Stefan, who had been trying to win the love of Abby, became obsessed with “Gabigail.” Stefan swore his love for “Gabigail” and vowed to do “everything in his power to keep her with him.”
When Abby began to fight back against her alter, “Gabigail” was afraid that she would lose the fight and disappear forever. Abby’s love for Chad is strong and gives her strength. Stefan claimed that “Gabigail’s” love for him was stronger. To the overwhelming dismay of many Days fans, Stefan and Gabigail had sex in the April 20 episode of Days of Our Lives.
— Days of our Lives (@nbcdays) April 20, 2018
Many fans of the daytime show were horrified; some even took to social media to organize a boycott of Friday’s Days of Our Lives episode.
— Melissa Rukavina (@MissielovesWill) April 20, 2018
Because Stefan is fully aware of Abby’s mental condition, viewers have become enraged and are taking to social media to show their disapproval. His knowledge that “Gabigail” is merely a fragment of Abby’s psyche suggests that Stefan’s actions are those of a rapist. In fact, Abby, in a moment of consciousness, fought back against Stefan’s advances.
The fan reaction to Friday’s episode of Days has gained traction on social media, showing outrage, but also opening discussion. There is little defense toward Stefan’s actions. The vast majority of fans believe that, by sleeping with “Gabigail,” Stefan is indeed taking advantage of Abby’s body.
— Days of our Lives (@nbcdays) April 21, 2018
Many fans have chosen to shame the Days of Our Lives writers.
One Facebook user had the following to say in Abby’s defense.
“I think Stefan is sick. He is so obsessed with Abigail, he doesn’t care what he does or who he hurts. This scene should never have happened. Wake up, writers!!”
Although most viewers seem to agree that Friday’s episode depicted the rape of a mentally ill woman, there are some fans who are supporting the Days of Our Lives writing staff, congratulating them for underlining a very real issue.
“Stop the complaining about the writers incorporating rape in this storyline. Many who suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder get raped, beat up, murdered, or actually commit suicide. So in this instance let’s just thank God that what we saw was acting. The entire storyline should be a learning experience versus complaining.”
At this time, it is unknown if the writing staff plans on incorporating the issue of Abby’s rape into the show. It is possible that the whole intent of Stefan and “Gabigail’s” love affair was to raise awareness toward real-life issues regarding mental illness. Either way, intended or not, the recent Days of Our Lives story has people talking.