“West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin isn’t the only person in his household with strong opinions. His daughter Roxy Sorkin wrote an open letter this week on the subject of rape culture, and called out the TV series “How I Met Your Mother” in the process.
In her open letter in Seventeen magazine, the 17-year-old wrote about growing up in a culture that valued women’s looks over anything else.
Sorkin then discussed how those issues manifest in media, writing, “So much of this harassment, misconduct, and creepy behaviour has been baked into the movies and TV shows we watch, and there needs to be some recognition of that.”
“‘How I Met Your Mother’ is one of my favourite shows, and I was 13 when I realized it romanticized sexual assault,” she continued.
Describing the problem with the sitcom, which ran from 2005 to 2014, Sorkin pointed to Neil Patrick Harris’ character Barney.
“In almost every episode, the character Barney Stinson, who is supposed to be lovable, can be found at a bar, getting girls drunk, lying about his identity, and bringing them back to his place,” she explained. “Afterward, he brags about his exploits to his friends. If a girl is intoxicated and can’t give consent, that means we may have been yukking it up at, well, rape.”
“And when 13-year-old boys (or 10-year-olds or 21-year-olds) see this, they think it’s OK — in fact, freakin’ hilarious! — to behave like Barney. And perhaps even worse, girls may think it’s OK too,” Sorkin added.