'Game of Thrones' rape denounced by US senator, others; HBO series has drawn heat before

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This photo provided by courtesy of HBO shows, Sophie Turner, left, as Sansa Stark, and Iwan Rheon, as Ramsay Bolton, in a scene from season 5 of "Game of Thrones." The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT. (Helen Sloan/HBO via AP)


LOS ANGELES — A U.S. senator is among those condemning a rape scene on HBO's "Game of Thrones."

In a comment tweeted Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill described the sexual assault as "gratuitous" and "disgusting." The Democratic lawmaker from Missouri said she was done with the show.

Others critics included the website The Mary Sue, which offers a feminist view of pop culture. The website posted that it would no longer promote "Game of Thrones" and said that rape is not a device to drive a story.

HBO declined comment Tuesday on the reaction to the episode that debuted last Sunday. An after-hours call to McCaskill's office seeking further comment was not immediately returned.

The attack involved newly married characters Sansa, played by Sophie Turner, and Ramsay, portrayed by Iwan Rheon. Ramsay's rape of Sansa was off-camera, suggested in her cries and the distress on a bystander's face.

The scene differed from the work of George R.R. Martin, whose novels are the basis of "Game of Thrones." In Martin's work, a different character marries Ramsay and is sexually assaulted by another man at Ramsay's direction.

Last season, HBO was slammed over another rape scene, that one involving incestuous lovers. The show's ongoing graphic violence also has drawn criticism.

Despite the attacks, "Game of Thrones" remains a steady hit in its fifth season.

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