"Bates Motel" pilot calls for attention after rape scene

After Monday's premier of the Alfred Hitchcock "Bates Motel," viewers stress discomfort with pilot's provocative rape scene.


  1. A&E's highly anticipated spring drama "Bates Motel" is already ruffling viewers' skirts after a graphic scene involving rape in Monday's pilot. 
  2. Halfway into episode one, Norma Bates, played by Vera Farmiga, is raped by troubled local Keith Summers. According to BuzzFeed.com the scene was "graphic and hard to watch." But according to executive director Kerry Ehrin, the scene was necessary to further the plot and the character of Bates. 
  3. "We knew that we needed the character of the town to present itself pretty early on; but it was important to see how Norma dealt with that. It was important to see what her emotional reaction was, what her go-to reaction was," Ehrin said in an exclusive interview with BuzzFeed.com. "How she reacts to that horrific incident is the first little layer of the onion coming off."
  4. On set reports claim that the scene shot effected the entire cast as Farmiga endured the shot. 
  5. "It was a tough day on the set from all reports. You can't help but get caught up in the mood of what's happening on the set," Ehrin said. "God, [Farmiga] just throws herself out there every day so generously and so valiantly. You can't help but feel for her and admire her when she has to go through a scene like that. I think the whole set was affected by it."
  6. For viewers who saw the scene and the succeeding half of the episode recognizes Bates as a hardened woman, and ultimately a killer. Ehrin explains that Bates's murder of Summers was an act of survival versus an act of revenge. 
  7. "She's an amazing survivor, Norma Bates. She's messed up, yes. She's definitely emotionally mercurial. But you've got to love her, because she is just a fucking survivor," Ehrin said.
  8. "Bates Motel" airs new episodes every Monday at 9 p.m. central on A&E.