In the sixth episode of Bridgerton, audiences were left divided by a controversial scene involving Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dyvenor), now the Duchess of Hastings.
After discovering that her husband, Simon (Regé-Jean Page), had lied about not wanting children, Daphne takes matters into her own hands. She confronts Simon about his deception and, in the heat of the moment, takes advantage of their intimacy to ensure she can conceive a child. This action causes a significant conflict between the couple, as Simon grapples with his desire for revenge against his father and his complicated emotions towards Daphne's actions.
While this scene may have been shocking to viewers, it was actually toned down from its portrayal in the original source material, Julia Quinn's novel, The Duke and I. In the book, Simon gets drunk, and Daphne takes advantage of his intoxicated state, leading to a contentious interpretation of the events as non-consensual.
Since the novel's publication in 2000, discussions around consent have progressed, particularly in light of movements like #MeToo. As a result, public perceptions of consent have changed, making scenes like this one controversial and problematic.
According to showrunner Chris Van Dusen, the scene was carefully considered and discussed during the production of the show. He believes it is crucial to Daphne's character development, highlighting her journey from an innocent debutante to a woman who learns to break free from societal constraints and embrace her true self.