I'll be the first one to admit that I do not watch Outlander. Between managing a very active 15 month old, being pregnant and trying to take care of my home (husband included), my DVR is full of television shows. I do have friends who watch the Starz original series and have very good things to say about it.
Outlander is a popular show that revolves around a combat nurse who gets sent back in time where she must fight for her life. There's love, passion, scandal and drama. Set in 18th-century Scotland, it prides itself on showcasing strong female characters from all different walks of life — including motherhood. In fact, many viewers enjoy seeing women portrayed in various roles that offer empowerment.
You would think Outlander would embrace something as natural and harmless as breastfeeding, right?
Well they did...and if you live in the States, you got to see it – but in Canada, it fell on the cutting room floor.
Last Sunday, Canadian television channel Showcase decided to air a censored version of the newest episode. In it, character Jenny Fraser, who recently gave birth, expressed breast milk for her newborn child — or at least was supposed to. While folk here in the United States got to view the episode without interruption, many are scratching their heads as to why it was taken out in the first place.
Many fans of the show weren't too happy with the network's decision to remove the scene from the episode, and you don't have to live in Canada to care. While I understand there are some people who don't want to see a woman breastfeeding her child in public — or an exposed breast, for that matter — who are we kidding here?
What's sad is that actress Laura Donnelly, who plays Jenny, was quite excited for the scene. In an interview with Vulture, the actress revealed how excited she was and what it meant for modern television. "It's not something that should be hidden away in any sense, and it's certainly nothing to be ashamed of," said Donnelly. "We're very used to seeing breasts displayed sexually on-screen, and I thought this was an opportunity to show breasts for what they're really there for, in a completely nonsexual manner that really turns the tables."
Do the executives that made the decision not watch Game of Thrones, or any other popular show on TV these days that give us way more than we need to see?
You can't flip through channels anymore without seeing people graphically get it on, full-frontal shots of women, rape scenes and anything else programs will air to gain more eyeballs. I can sit through a promo commercial or episode of The Walking Dead where someone gets their face eaten off, but seeing a mother do what's necessary to nurse her child deserves censorship?
It's pretty funny to me that Showcase would take such a stance with breastfeeding, given Starz is the one who gave us the original series Spartacus. Wonder if they censored any of those episodes? It might as well have been a weekly porn series as you couldn't watch for five minutes without seeing threesomes and explicit sex scenes. I guess if women's bodies are being used in a sexual manner then it's OK to show nude lady parts.
Since the episode aired, the channel posted a public apology on Facebook, citing an error on their part and the promise to re-air the uncensored version of the episode on Sunday, May 24 at 10/9c. From the looks of the comments, many Outlander fans are crying foul for having a censored version in the first place and choosing to cut breastfeeding-related content, but not scenes of sex or rape.
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