• Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Looks like Rape of Thrones Game of Thrones may be changing its horrible, horrible tune. Here's Jezebel:

Whether or not you watched the fifth season of Game of Thrones, you likely caught wind of the controversy surrounding its especially gratuitous violence against women. Even fans of the show condemned certain scenes—Sansa Stark’s rape in particular—as both excessive and lazy plot devices. And what do you know? The showrunners have tempered the sixth season in direct response of these criticisms.

According to the New York Daily News, “director Jeremy Podeswa, who is helming several episodes of the upcoming sixth season...says that the backlash over a shocking rape scene involving Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has brought a toning down of the way sexual violence is tackled on the show.”

Podeswa recently spoke at an event at Fox Studios Australia where, the Telegraph reports, he made the argument that the producers should not “self-censor.” “The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen,” he explained to the audience. The producers “did not want to be too overly influenced by that [criticism] but they did absorb it and take it in and it did influence them in a way.”

Obviously, this development is a good thing. Realizing that depicting sexual and other violence against women with shameless abandon is careless and stupid and not without impunity is a valuable Learning Lesson™ for the adult 14-year-old boys who make Game of Thrones. But to say you'll tone down the violence in season six? After a season when it seemed the showrunners were going out of their way to see women and girls encounter every type of abuse and indignity imaginable? When a girl being burned at the stake is a mere footnote to a plethora of fucked-up shit happening to women? That's perhaps the definition of too little, too late.

I say this as someone who actually likes Game of Thrones. Or, you know, did. I don't subscribe to the hyper-ascetic can't-watch-anything-remotely-problematic school of feminism. I like plenty of problematic things. I listen to Drake, who, you know, isn't quiet about his preference for "good girls." I also like Ariana Grande, even though her sexy baby act has set feminism back a million years. I don't really think Roxane Gay is that bad of a feminist. Whatever. It's chill.

But I draw the line when straight-up violence against women is employed gratuitously and irresponsibly to, IDK, prove some kind of point about how hard it is to be Theon Greyjoy (?) with zero input from an actual human woman—surprise! season five's writing staff included no women. So while I'm glad the showrunners finally got there, I won't be watching. In the age of prestige television, when there's always something better on, it's just poor judgment to wait five seasons to finally seriously consider how your show's woman problem might be alienating viewers. See you later, Sunday nights on HBO! Maybe I'll replace you by finally checking out Grace and Frankie.