When women are abused on screen — and how that shapes opinions about whose stories we believe in real life

Last week, Slate ran a story about a recently ousted White House aide and this was the headline: “Rob Porter’s History of Domestic Abuse Wasn’t a Secret. It’s Just That No One Cared.”

My mind immediately went back to a year ago, when the HBO series “Big Little Lies” premiered. I remember the preponderance of reviews — written by male critics — dismissing the show as soapy melodrama dressed up as prestige TV. And I wanted to go back and remind myself of the ways these cultural arbiters, with their influential platforms, engaged with the show’s portrayal of domestic violence.

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