We recently received a screenshot from a recently aired episode of Law and Order: SVU. Tipster Kim was bothered by the shot of a murdered woman on an autopsy table being placed in a sexy pose.
I was watching Law and Order: SVU last night and they did a shot of a woman on an autopsy table. She was in a very sexy pose, and it was disturbing that they made portrayed a dead, bruised, and raped woman look sexy. It sends a frightening message…
I for one am pretty disturbed by this depiction of a rape/murder victim. I mean, if there is one subject I don’t joke about, it’s sexual assault, and this should have been portrayed in a more serious, realistic light.
And that’s when I realized the essence of my problem with this screenshot and with many of these technical television shows (CSI, Law and Order, NCIS, and so on). It is so easy for the viewer to forget that they are watching a made up work of fiction.
A victim of violent death would never be seen this way in an actual coroner’s office. For one thing, the victim’s clothes—rife with evidence, hopefully—would have been long gone. Bags would have been placed over her hands for the purpose of forensic evidence collection. And the coroner? He or she would be revving up the Stryker saw to make a Y-incision.
Now, I didn’t see this episode. I know nothing about the character that ended up on an autopsy table. I know she is wearing heavy makeup and is definitely posed in a sexy manner. And I guess that’s enough to make me uneasy, when all is said and done. That and the fact that a “Calling all necrophiliacs” sign should be posted or something.
I like Law and Order: SVU a lot, actually. The liberties taken by the show in terms of the actual process of investigating (and hopefully prosecuting) sex crimes are in general lost on me. However, Kim’s screenshot brings up some very important points.