Thursday 24 January 2019

'Handmaid's Tale' wine withdrawn from sale after backlash

Star of the Handmaid's Tale TV series - Elisabeth Moss
Star of the Handmaid's Tale TV series - Elisabeth Moss

Orla Ryan

The harrowing scenes of rape and abuse in TV drama 'The Handmaid's Tale' may have left viewers in need of a stiff drink, but a recent attempt to cash in on the show's success left a sour taste in the mouth for many fans.

A line of promotional wines "specially crafted to highlight the personalities" of the show's characters such as Offred and Serena was launched yesterday - and scrapped hours later, after a backlash on social media.

Adapted from Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel and broadcast on RTÉ and Channel 4, 'The Handmaid's Tale' imagines an alternate America where women are enslaved by a religious patriarchy.

A now-deleted page on wine company Lot18's website said the novelty wines were ideal "to enjoy while you watch these women's stories unfold on screen, or while you contemplate their impossible situations afterwards".

A French Pinot Noir is described as "smooth, earthy, and similarly seductive in profile to Offred".

Offred is the slave-name given to the show's heroine, June - played by Elisabeth Moss - by Fred, a government official who keeps her as a servant in his house, and rapes her with the help of his wife, Serena Joy.

A Bordeaux Blanc wine inspired by Serena Joy, meanwhile, is described as "sophisticated, traditional and austere".

'New York Times' TV critic Margaret Lyons, quoting a promotional blurb that calls the Offred wine impossible to "resist", tweeted: "Who the f*** thinks rape-themed wine is a good idea?"

'People' magazine reports that Lot18 and the show's production company MGM decided to cancel the wine "after further consideration".

Irish Independent

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