Actress and model Rachel Wood has criticised Netflix sensation Stranger Things for including “abusive” behaviour as part of its script during season three of the show.
Wood, arguably best known for her role in HBO series Westworld—for which she won a Critics’ Choice Award—has hit out at a scene involving Jim Hopper’s (played by David Harbour) Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryer). The script details a planned dinner date between the two characters but, amid fears for her children, Joyce Byers doesn’t show up and leaves Jim Hopper alone in the restaurant.
In several different section of the episode in question, Jim Hopper flies into a fit of rage directed at Joyce Byers because he is upset about her missing the dinner plans.
Taking to Twitter, Wood said: “Yes, I am aware [it’s] ‘just a show’ and it’s set in the Eighties, even though this stuff was unacceptable then, too. But that’s exactly my point. It’s just a show and this is a gentle reminder not to fall for this crap in real life,” she wrote on a post on social media.
“She [Joyce] is allowed to stand him up without being screamed at,” Wood added. “Especially when she is worried about her children. Priority number one. He also insisted it wasn’t a date and clearly he lied. She shouldn’t have rescheduled. He should have gone to therapy.”
The opinion has sparked a debate on social media, many of Wood’s fans arguing both sides of the argument. On follower specifically, said: “You should never date a woman like Dolores/Wyatt from Westworld,” in response to Wood. “They will legit kill you and reprogramme your mind to make you do what they want. To the point you commit suicide. They are not sexy like TV would have you believe.”
Wood responded: “I totally agree. I play a robot who murders people because they wouldn’t stop raping and killing her for 30 years. Not saying that’s right either. Though some would argue self-defence. Dolores is as single as they come.”
While the conversation took a slightly humorous tone in response to her fans, the topic of domestic abuse and self harm is one that the actress is extremely passionate about. Having been vocal for many years on the subject, Wood also launched the #IAmNotOK movement to encourage fellow survivors to share their stories.
More seriously, in 2016, Wood conducted a brave interview with Rolling Stone in which she detailed a time in her past that she had been raped. In what was an incredibly difficult discussion, Wood said that she had been raped twice, “many years ago.” Detailing how she still suffers from the physiological trauma of that incident, she also said: “I don’t believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer.”
Two years after that interview Wood testified as a rape survivor and survivor of sexual abuse to Homeland Security.