** SPOILER ALERT**
The mega-hit British TV show Downton Abbey has shocked viewers across the pond with their most recent episode. In it, one of the main and much-loved characters is raped by a visiting valet.
Even though the show announced a message that said, “violent scenes that some viewers may find upsetting” aired prior to the episode, it still caused a bit of unrest throughout the show’s viewership.
Although its audience was not treated to a graphic depiction of rape, countless numbers of viewers were left unsettled by the audio image of a woman clearly distressed during a sexual assault.
Critics accused the show of including the scene to spice things up to make it more interesting and that the scene and the resulting sordid plotline will mar its reputation as a family-friendly show.
Only time will tell if the poor saga of a much-loved character will bolster ratings or damage them beyond repair. Downton Abbey’s fourth season will premiere in the U.S. on January 5, 2014 on PBS.