[Content Note: Sexual violence on television.]
"The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place. I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again."—Actor Mandy Patinkin, on why he "abruptly left" the CBS procedural after only two seasons.
Patinkin was quick to note he isn't "making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals]. But I'm concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn't what you need to be dreaming about."
An interesting perspective from an actor who's been in such a show. And not a universal one: Mariska Hargitay, who has starred for many years on the similarly gruesome Law & Order: SVU, has spoken about how rewarding it has been for her to be on a show that encourages survivors to share their stories. Viewers' perceptions of these shows aren't universal, either.
What is evident in any case is that this subject matter affects people, including the actors who engage with the material week after week. Something worth recalling next time there's another round of "it's just a joke/movie/TV show."
Despite his fears that his principles would hurt his career, Patinkin now stars on the extremely successful Showtime series, Homeland.
The rest of the article is worth a read, if you're a Mandy Patinkin fan. True Fact: One of my first movie crushes was on Avigdor, because Yentl loved him so naturally I loved him, too.
[H/T to Shaker Yazikus.]