‘Sky Rojo’: Women Led Cast Responds to Show’s Controversial Depiction of Violence
Sky Rojo is a Netflix series that revolves around three prostitutes and their journey after running away from their procurer. The Spanish action crime drama show premiered on March 19, 2021.
The portrayal of the brutal reality and psychological pressure faced by escorts was highly appreciated by fans and critics. As a result, the show was renewed for season 2, which will premiere on July 23, 2021.
However, there are a few controversies surrounding the series and the representation of reality.
‘Sky Rojo’ Controversies
The series was made by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato, the same people responsible for the critically acclaimed Money Heist or La casa de Papel.
So naturally, many fans can’t help but compare the two shows when it comes to the plot and cinematography.
While people prefer La casa de Papel to Sky Rojo, the controversy is not about the comparison of the two shows. Instead, it is about the portrayal of females in this crime thriller.
The protagonists of the series are three women — Verónica Sánchez as Coral, Lali Espósito as Wendy, and Yany Prado as Gina. They play three prostitutes who are trying to change their life for the better.
Various questions have been raised about the series, from exploiting females and glamorizing violence to toxic masculinity, human trafficking, and gun violence.
The series is fictional, but there are a few scenes and dialogues that make the audience uncomfortable.
There are dialogues like “I’m going to cut off your arms and legs and leave only the holes,” which glamorize the violence against women and promote the stigma of pimps and escorts.
Similarly, sometimes, the idea of gun violence has been objectified by comparing guns to phallus.
However, Pina and Lobato have repeatedly emphasized taking Sky Rojo with a grain of salt. They have clarified that while the series is based on real-life issues, it is fiction after all.
Actresses' Opinion on the Controversies
Sánchez, Espósito and Prado have the same opinion as the show’s creators. The female cast explained their views on Sky Rojo in an interview with El Confidencial.
They shared the same sentiments as that of the show’s creators about how the series was merely fiction and only some aspect of it resonated with real life.
According to Sánchez, Sky Rojo intends to talk about reality, but they do not reflect the real-life scenario. Thus, the character’s emotional journey coincides with fact to some extent, but it is not even close when it comes to aesthetics.
Espósito clarified that whatever they are doing is fiction, and she would not try to understand the life of escorts since she has not lived it.
She said that she was an interpreter who respects the work but wants to spread awareness about it.
Prado also agreed with her co-stars and added that the entire team of Sky Rojo empathizes with the dreadful situation of prostitutes. Therefore, with the help of fiction, the primary aim is to entertain as well as empathize with reality.
Regardless, the actresses believe that the controversy surrounding the series is a good thing. Espósito thought that Sky Rojo is making people ponder on real-life scenarios, hence they are questioning it.
Similarly, she pointed out that if fiction does not make people worried, the production has not done enough to spread the message. Their show is risky, and since it is available on Netflix, people globally would watch it.
Therefore, they are bound to receive some criticisms no matter what. Sánchez added that since viewers from over 170 nations will watch the show, many will watch it as entertainment while others will understand the hidden message behind Sky Rojo.
Despite all the controversies, the show has been rated highly. It has received four stars from The Guardian and whereas Rotten Tomatoes has given it approval ratings of 92% on Tomatometer and 74% on audience score.