(NEW YORK) — Just one day after announcing a proposed wine collection created as a tie-in to the hit Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale, MGM and wine seller Lot18 have scrapped the idea in response to social media backlash condemning the promotion, according to People magazine.
The Handmaid’s Tale is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, set in a dystopian society that conscripts fertile women — called “handmaids” — into child-bearing involuntary servitude, stripped of their names, rights and property.
The collection featured two red wines, honoring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel‘s characters, Offred and Ofglen, as well as a white wine for Yvonne Strahovski‘s character, Serena Joy. Each wine had its own marketing copy, praising its virtues.
The copy for Offred reads, “Completely stripped of her rights and freedom, Offred must rely on the one weapon she has left to stay in control — her feminine wiles. This French Pinot Noir is similarly seductive, its dark berry fruit and cassis aromatics so beguiling it seems almost forbidden to taste. But it’s useless to resist the wine’s smooth and appealingly earthy profile, so you may as well give in. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, indeed.”
It clearly didn’t go over well online.
“’Can you turn rape into marketing copy?” “Sure, you bet.” “Great, it’s for Handmaid’s Tale wine.” “Haha, love it,’” wrote one Twitter user.
“Finally a product that combines everything I hate: wine, marketing, unbridled capitalism, and authoritarian patriarchal dystopias where women are chattel!” replied another in response to the promotion. “whomst [sic] could have known that using a narrative of government-sanctioned rape to brand your wine would present a problem.”
The result: By Tuesday evening, Lot18 no longer offered The Handmaid’s Tale wines on their website.
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 is currently streaming on Hulu.
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