The Newsroom showrunner Aaron Sorkin came under fire Monday for a rape plot included on Sunday’s episode of the show—but he thinks it was “really good.”
Sorkin addressed the episode—and its resulting controversy—at a Q&A with the Writers Guild Foundation Monday night, where he called the episode “different.” “It was the first episode of The Newsroom I thought was really good,” Sorkin said, according to Nerdist. “It was the first time I didn’t find myself banging my head against a wall feeling like ‘I just cannot get the hang of this’… until last night.”
In the episode, producer Don Keefer interviews a rape victim who created a website where other sexual assault victims can talk about their experiences. Instead of reacting with empathy, Don is more worried about women abusing the website and using it to tell false stories and accusing could-be innocent men of crimes. Essentially, he tells his interviewee—and all rape victims—to be quiet until the court of law finds the alleged rapists guilty.
At the Monday Q&A, Sorkin discussed how he thinks critics wrongly connected Don’s beliefs to Sorkin’s, how if he’d “written The Newsroom under a pseudonym, the reaction would’ve been much different.” “They’re seeing it through a fractured lens of me,” he said.
It’s too late for a pseudonym now though: The final episode of The Newsroom airs Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. on HBO.