If you’ve been on any social media platform recently, you’ve probably heard of the popular Netflix show Bridgerton. Since its release on Christmas, it has taken the internet by storm. Conjuring debates on morals and historical accuracy, this show, produced by Shonda Rhimes, has certainly been all the buzz. Prominent controversies include the risqué relationship between Daphne Bridgerton and Duke Simons Basset and the diverse cast despite the time period in which the series takes place. Many viewers are taking to the internet to express their disbelief.
Heads up: the following may contain spoilers.
1. Controversial Sex Scene
In season 1 episode 6, Daphne and the Duke share an intimate scene as Daphne is on top of Duke and does not let him pull out despite his reluctance to impregnate her. This scene created controversy surrounding sexual assault. Many are appalled that there is limited discussion of the underlying sexual assault while more attention is given to Duke’s lie. Some Tweets ask to consider if the role were reversed. If it were the Duke that had not used the “pull-out method” without consent, conversations would be much different. Some are deciding to stop watching the show, while others are curious to see how it plays out.
2. Accurate Racial Representation
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The popular book series Bridgerton by Julia Quinn was first released in 2000. While the main characters in the book are portrayed as white, numerous prominent characters are played by Black-actors. The book takes place in 19th century London during the Regency Era. During this time, it would have been highly inaccurate to see BIPOC individuals maintain such a high status. This brought about conversation of historical inaccuracy and whether representation was absolutely necessary. Showrunners say that as a fictional series, they wanted to focus on reflecting the modern world we live in today. While there were good intentions, to some, a complex idea has been depicted much too lightly.
3. Regency Era Fashion
Again, showrunners had no intention of keeping up with historical accuracy but it is definitely something interesting to pick at. The opening scene includes beautiful ladies getting ready for the Social with one of them struggling to tighten their corset and breath. This does make for an interesting opening if it weren’t for the fact fashion during the Regency Era did not consist of waist trainers, let alone corsets. More natural silhouettes and soft curves were emphasized during this time and if depicted correctly, this scene would not exist. Corsets weren’t used again until the Victorian Era when ant-like waists were considered high-fashion.
4. Musical Inaccuracy
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While watching, you may have been surprised to hear very familiar music in the background. Songs like, “thank you next” by Ariana Grande, “bad guy” by Billie Eilish and “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 were covered in classical style. This had undoubtedly shocked those who had been looking for more of a period-accurate show like Downtown Abbey. Even so, showrunners found that using modern music was thematically accurate and much more accessible to those who would have thought the olden setting to be uninteresting. Popular musical group Vitamin String Quartet is responsible for four of the beautiful classical covers in the show.
Fans are excited for the second season to be released. Who knows if it will be just as scandalous and risqué as the first one.