Bad Timing? Dutch TV Show ‘Raped or Not’ to Debut Amid Surge of Sexual Assault Accusations

Series asks panel of “youngsters” to guess whether a woman is a victim of sexual assault based on re-enactments

“Raped or Not,” possibly the worst idea ever for a TV show, may make it to the airwaves in the Netherlands next week, despite intense backlash from Dutch audiences who have yet to even see it.

The program, produced by Dutch broadcaster BNNVARA, will include re-enactments of several real-life court cases about alleged rapes, according to The Sun. A panel of 14 “youngsters” will then evaluate what happened and discuss the judge’s ruling in the case. So, basically, they’ll decide whether it is “rape or not.”

“Raped or Not” producer Bernard van den Bosch told The Sun he thinks the outrage mainly stems from the “in-your-face title” of the show. “First everyone raised their eyebrows, now everybody says: ‘What a timing,'” van den Bosch said.

The program, which is scheduled to premiere on Nov. 7, was planned before multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault sprung up in Hollywood, surrounding industries, and among average citizens in the widely shared #MeToo hashtag. Hollywood accusers include those with stories of misconduct by producers Harvey Weinstein and Brett Ratner and actors Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven.

As for how the slew of sexual misconduct accusations relate to “Raped or Not,” van den Bosch believes the scandals show the “nuance” behind the premise.

The producer gave The Sun an example of a recent scandal in the Netherlands involving two male TV producers, with one claiming rape against the other, who believed the sexual encounter was consensual.”Those are personal dramas,” van den Bosch said. “One says rape, the other sees it as an innocent sexual encounter. Our show is about that grey area.”