Also yesterday, that line of wines was cancelled, following a huge online backlash to the product.
Following on from last year's The Walking Dead wine tie-in, Lot18 confirmed it had developed three new wines in line with three characters on The Handmaid's Tale: two reds (for Elisabeth Moss' Offred and Alexis Bledel's Ofglen) and a white (for Yvonne Strahovski's Serena Joy).
The Offred wine is described as a pinot noir "so beguiling it seems almost forbidden to taste", while the Ofglen wine is a cabernet sauvignon that was grown – "aptly", we're told – in Rogue Valley, accompanied by the tag line: "Pleasure and enjoyment may be forbidden in Gilead, but it can certainly be found in this memorable wine."
As for Serena Joy's wine, it's a Bordeaux Blanc, described as "sophisticated, "traditional" and "austere", which may "initially come off as restrained".
So, it's safe to say that the idea of marketing wines based on rape, abuse, oppression, totalitarian governments and the disenfranchisement of women didn't exactly go down too well:
“Can you turn rape into marketing copy?” “Sure, you bet.” “Great, it’s for Handmaid’s Tale wine.” “Haha, love it.” pic.twitter.com/9089Cveu0G- Margaret Lyons (@margeincharge) July 10, 2018
It's official: capitalism invades and corrodes EVERY FIBER of art and creativity. When brands of WINE are named after (oppressed, rape surviving) characters in the freaking HANDMAID'S TALE, we have witnessed the death of both irony and common sense. @HandmaidsOnHulu @Hulu- Revealing at the end of the day...the charade (@FaithPennick) July 10, 2018
Official licensed Handmaid's Tale wine? FFS.- Ian Cann 🏳️🌈 (@thebeercolonel) July 11, 2018
Hey @hulu I had some better ideas for merchandising! Handmaid’s Tale the pepper spray. Handmaid’s Tale the IUD. Handmaid’s Tale the enormous donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds. https://t.co/gIRH62wdyf- Jess Zimmerman (@j_zimms) July 10, 2018
Under the eyes of the marketing dept at MGM, someone thought it would be fun to create a #HandmaidsTale wine collection - 'Offred' and 'Ofglen' (feisty reds, natch), Serena Joy an "austere" white. Unsurprisingly, it's been cancelled https://t.co/iUV6rdu8oU- Äbid Rahman (@gentlemanabroad) July 11, 2018
'Handmaid's Tale' wines? These will go great with your 'Silence of the Lambs' cheese board: https://t.co/Zf1vuLiAds- Tony Martin (@mrtonymartin) July 11, 2018
So if you're even vaguely acquainted with me, you know that I am here for wine. Everyday is a wine day. But Handmaid's Tale themed wine can be flung straight off a cliff. ARE YOU INSANE?- Caroline Goldsmith (@GoldCaro) July 10, 2018
Handmaid's Tale themed wine with this selling point: lie back and enjoy being raped. "It's useless to resist the wine's smooth and appealingly earthy profile, so you may as well give in."- Tabitha McIntosh (@TabitaSurge) July 10, 2018
If this is a joke, it isn't funny.https://t.co/XVPHIgDYlr pic.twitter.com/9RkkCqIgtS
How is it even possible to misjudge something this badly? If The Handmaid's Tale wasn't a work of fiction, this would be in even worse taste than it already is.https://t.co/d934Pyf40Y- Mary Peterson (@dinky1201) July 10, 2018
Thankfully, the backlash was enough that MGM and Lot18 later pulled the collection, and you can no longer buy any officially licensed Handmaid's Tale wines anywhere online.
Meanwhile, the second season finale of The Handmaid's Tale aired in the US last night, and the cliffhanger left fans more than a little infuriated.
The Handmaid's Tale airs on Hulu in the US. Channel 4 airs the show in the UK.
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