Are you all talked out over The Newsroom's recent controversial rape story line? I hope you answered no, because Olivia Munn, who stars as Sloan Sabbith on the HBO drama, has defended the show and its creator Aaron Sorkin in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The episode in question, Sunday's "Oh Shenandoah," dealt with the highly sensitive but timely subject of rape on college campuses. After a woman set up an anonymous website for victims to share their stories, a male producer tracked the woman down to pre-interview her and talk her out of appearing on TV. Ultimately, he told her that he didn't believe her story and that her website could potentially be used to print libelous material about innocent men.
As you might imagine, the internet lit up with criticism of the way the show handled that plot development, especially in light of the recent real-world story in which Rolling Stone admitted that an article it ran about a rape at the University of Virginia was not properly fact-checked prior to publication.
During Sunday night's broadcast, Newsroom writer Alena Smith took to Twitter to express her disappointment and disapproval of the story line, noting that when she did so during the episode's creation, Sorkin kicked her out of the writers' room. On Monday, Sorkin released his own statement regarding the matter and expressed disappointment in Smith for voicing her opinions in a public forum.
Appearing on EW Morning Live on Wednesday, Munn echoed Sorkin's comments about the sanctity of the writers' room. She also said that Smith should have made her comments more interesting if she was going to make them at all.
"If [Smith] had something poignant to say about women and rape, she should have said it and not made it about herself," said Munn.
"The reality is that Sorkin writes things so that they can be talked about, and so we show both sides of it," she continued. "I think it was important to show what it's like for women to be a rape victim, want to speak out, and then have somebody come in and say, 'Hey don't do that. That's going to be bad for you.'"
"Sorkin wasn't saying 'Don't do that,'" Munn said. "He was saying 'This is what happens.'"
Did you watch Sunday's episode of The Newsroom? What's your take on this story?