JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike drama will not have 'voyeuristic level of violence against women'

Anita Singh
Tom Burke and Robin Ellacott in the BBC adaptation of The Cuckoo's Calling - WARNING: Use of this copyright image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture

The television adaptation of JK Rowling’s detective stories will avoid the “voyeuristic” violence against women common to so many crime dramas, its producer has said.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first of Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels, begins on Sunday on BBC One.

BBC dramas such as The Fall, which starred Jamie Dornan as a serial killer, have been criticised for depicting young women as victims of heinous acts.

Rowling is executive producer on The Cuckoo’s Calling and her fellow producer, Ruth Kenley-Letts, said: “I think, as anyone who has glanced at her Twitter feed will know, [Rowling] is a staunch feminist and, without plot-spoiling for anyone, the issue of violence against women is directly addressed and counter-balanced.”

Kenley-Letts said the opening scene, in which a supermodel falls to her death, is “very sensitively filmed. One of the most gross inequalities in our society is the extent to which women are disproportionately victims of all sorts of crime and violence. So I think it’s all about how you depict it and whether you titillate the audience with the woman’s fear or pain.”

She told Radio Times: “I feel very strongly about it and there have been shows I have felt unable to watch because of the voyeuristic level of violence against women.”

Rowling wrote the Strike novels under the pen name of Robert Galbraith, but her cover was blown after the first one came out.

The Harry Potter author explained: “The pseudonym was a way of disconnecting myself from all of the baggage that comes with being me.”