Web entertainment as a genre is known for its freedom and creative liberty. This distinction – besides bringing many writers and directors to the streaming world – has also got an influx of adult content. The sexual and explicit content is often said to be a vital part of the digital content streaming online. But is that really true?
As an audience, I think more often than not, it can be avoided. Obviously, there are shows such as Game of Thrones (GOT), which are very popular and are known for their explicit content and nudity. Let’s consider only GOT: There is hardly any main character of the series which has not appeared nude on the screen – not just the female actors, but their male counterparts too. But was it necessary to show the actors baring it all. Maybe, yes.
Taking the latest scene of sexual content and nudity into consideration – Daenerys Targaryen getting intimate with Jon Snow – it became essential to show the dilemma that they are entering into. Jon is Daenerys’ nephew, and in the Targaryen family such matrimony is not considered incest. The problem is something else. While the two consider each other equal in a way, it is Daenerys who has an upper hand with the many titles she has, while Jon is only King in The North. All this will change as Jon is revealed not to be the bastard of Ned Stark, but a legitimate son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. This revelation gives Jon a more powerful claim to the Throne.
That is just one example in the series. But how do you justify the many other videos and even series that are uploaded on a daily basis? There’s so much sexual content is them is becomes difficult to identify whether it is actually required or is it just to manage eyeballs. There are, after all, many people who will watch GOT not for its excellent storyline and brilliant graphics, but the intimate moments between the actors or even nude scenes of the female artists.
In stark contrast, there is much more content which markets itself as ‘adult content’ making sure that people looking for some sexual pleasure know where exactly to come. Does it mean that such projects should be banned?
That is an interesting debate; many people would love to witness. But there are hardly people who want to discuss it, fearing that they might be booed for standing ‘for the cause’ – simply put speaking in favor of such explicit content. And that precisely is the problem – social shaming.
Not everyone likes romantic films, similarly not everyone can watch content which is high only on drama, or action, or comedy. There are people who have, for various reasons developed a liking for sexual and explicit content. Should they be shamed for this?
One thing we have to realise is that times are changing. The kind of language we spoke a decade back has been replaced with a version that includes way more abuses than our parents must have heard/spoken during bloody fights. Obviously, the media plays a role in that too. But now we have reached a stage, where it is difficult to tell people what to watch and it is further more difficult to prohibit them to watch content which is not considered acceptable in the society.
And playing their part in making sure such content doesn’t reach the young impressionable minds, streaming services make sure the content contains the ‘suitable for’ which age group information.
In conclusion, it is difficult to say whether such content should be or should not be included in entertainment projects. But one thing is for sure: internet will continue experimenting with sexual content being a free medium. Whether censorship is required to curb it, or should it be left free – we will have to let the future decide.