Julie Hesmondhalgh – the actor who played Trish Winterman in Broadchurch’s third series – has said ITV drama Liar is right to tackle the issue of rape.
Although last week’s revelation that Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) was a serial rapist drew some criticism for its portrayal of sexual assault on screen, Hesmondhalgh argued it was “appropriate” the programme addressed the crime.
In this week’s issue of Radio Times, the former Coronation Street star wrote, “Once again the debate rages over whether TV is an appropriate arena to explore the area of sexual violence, and whether or not rape should be used as a form of entertainment. I would say, emphatically, yes.”
Hesmondhalgh played a rape victim in series three of ITV’s Broadchurch, and argued that just like Broadchurch, Liar could mean “those who have been affected might be emboldened to come forward”.
She added that the drama, which continues this Monday at 9pm, may also make viewers question why society is so reluctant to believe women when they claim they have been assaulted.
“In revealing that Earlham was a serial rapist mid-series, the show turned from a whodunnit into something more important, and sparked, I’m sure, a thousand conversations around these issues, and our own expectations and belief,” Hesmondhalgh said.
Read her full column in this week’s Radio Times magazine, available from Tuesday 10th October in shops and online.