Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)

Home Outlander Costuming Discussion Forums General Outlander Discussion On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry) Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)

#6625
Anastasia
Participant

I think the crux of the issue is that the marketing has, when it comes to Sam, had a heavy focus on him not as an excellent actor putting in a fantastic performance, but as beefcake. Most of the reviews you see barely mention anything about him other than his physical attractiveness. Some of them don’t even mention him by name – or get his name wrong. Why? Because that’s what Starz keeps pumping out. The show has been marketed as soft porn – which is why at least one reviewer made a comment about the “plot getting in the way of the sex.” They weren’t expecting a show with a strong plot – they were expecting sex, and lots of it.

That objectification of him has created a monster, fed by a smorgasbord of inappropriate comments. They have glutted Outlander-related Twitter feeds, Tumblr and other social media with objectifying/dehumanizing images (I wasn’t kidding when I said there was an actual image of Sam as a sandwich out there), sexual innuendo and other comments. The monster just keeps on feeding itself, over and over.

The expectation that Starz has created with its marketing campaign is that the show’s primary focus is sex, not romantic historical drama. It’s not the sex on the show that’s the actual problem – plenty of shows out there have a lot of sex. It’s all about the marketing message. As someone who works in social media and marketing, I have cringed watching the marketing campaign for this show.

I don’t think anyone on this thread has tried to shame people for appreciating the actors’ physical attractiveness. There’s a very big difference between appreciation and objectification in my mind and it’s the latter this thread is about, not the former.