The controversial rape scene in 'Bridgerton' started a 'really great conversation around consent,' says show's intimacy coordinator

One of the sex scenes between Daphne and Simon on "Bridgerton" continues to stir up debate on Twitter. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
  • A controversial sex scene in "Bridgerton" continues to stir up debate on Twitter.

  • The scene shows Daphne getting on top of Simon so he can't use the pull-out method.

  • Intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot said the scene "created a great conversation around consent."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warning: This article contains spoilers, and potential triggers, about season one of "Bridgerton."

"Bridgerton" has been praised for its many steamy sex scenes and the way it portrays female pleasure, but there's one intimate moment that really got fans talking - and it was far more controversial.

The scene, which shows Daphne Bridgerton initiating sex with her husband Simon Basset, first appears to be consensual. But then Daphne gets on top so that Simon can't use the pull-out method to avoid the possibility of impregnating her.

It's a moment that has continued to stir debate on Twitter, with many viewers saying they were shocked that the episode didn't have a trigger warning, or that "rape was used as a quirky plot device" in the first place.

As the intimacy coordinator for "Bridgerton," Lizzy Talbot choreographed all the sex scenes. And she said her main priority during the moment in question was to make sure that both Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, and Regé-Jean Page, who plays Simon, felt comfortable.

Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset on "Bridgerton." Netflix

"As an intimacy coordinator, my job is the welfare of the actors and making sure they were safe the entire time," she told Insider.

And Talbot believes the controversial scene has launched an important discussion among "Bridgerton" viewers.

"I think it's created a really great conversation around consent," she said. "And what it looks like, regardless of gender."

The controversial sex scene was changed from the book on which 'Bridgerton' is based

The first season of "Bridgerton" was based on "The Duke and I" by Julia Quinn. In the novel, Daphne decides to have sex with Simon after he comes home drunk and she realizes he "was in her control," according to an excerpt published in

"She could do whatever she wanted with him," the passage continues. "She could have whatever she wanted."

Page told that he was "very happy that we had a different scene in the TV show than in the book."

But the moment has been controversial among readers since the book was published in 2000, and fans of the series wondered why "Bridgerton" creator Chris Van Dusen still decided to include an interpretation of the scene at all.

Van Dusen said he wanted Daphne to be 'flawed' and 'make questionable choices'

Daphne decides to get on top while having sex with Simon shortly after learning that he lied to her about being unable to have children. She had assumed that Simon suffered from a medical condition but, after learning how reproduction actually works, realizes that he was purposely pulling out during sex to avoid impregnating her.

Unbeknownst to her at the time, Simon had sworn he would never sire an heir to the dukedom as revenge after his father neglected and abused him.

Van Dusen said that "it's important to consider the era in which these women lived" while watching the scene between Daphne and Simon unfold.

BRIDGERTON - Netflix Still
The creator of "Bridgerton" said he wanted Daphne to be a "flawed" character. Liam Daniel/Netflix

"As a show, we're very clear about this being a time when a woman was told that her sole existence was good only for marriage and childbearing, with no value outside of her role as a wife and mother," Van Dusen told Esquire. "That's exactly what Daphne says in the pilot. When it comes to the topic of sex and the actual practice of making those children or being a wife, she's kept in total darkness. Her own mother, we see, doesn't even tell her the truth about the matter."

"I think you can only imagine her state when she thinks the man she's been sleeping with this entire time has been manipulating and lying to her about the subject," he added. "What she ends up doing is making that incredibly complicated, human choice - and doing what she believes she has to do."

And Van Dusen said the scene was designed to "raise conversation" around consent.

"As storytellers, we can't really pass judgment on the decisions Daphne makes, but it was important to us to understand why she's making those decisions," he added. "We are a show that allows our female characters to be complicated and to be far from perfect."

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