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‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Line of Wines Canceled Amid Backlash

Variety logo Variety 11/07/2018 Christi Carras

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The fruit be not blessed after all. Wine curator Lot18 has canceled its recently announced collection of wines based on “The Handmaid’s Tale” hours after its announcement sparked backlash for repurposing the show’s darker themes.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” tells the stories of women who are stripped of their rights and subjected to habitual rape and torture. The since-deleted website promoting the line drew upon the show’s sinister plot to sell its products, which included “Offred” Pinot Noir, “Ofglen” Cabernet Sauvignon, and “Serena Joy” Bordeaux Blanc.

“Completely stripped of her rights and freedom, Offred must rely on the one weapon she has left to stay in control – her feminine wiles,” a sample from the since-deleted website read. “This French Pinot Noir is similarly seductive, its dark berry fruit and cassis aromatics so beguiling it seems almost forbidden to taste.”

a person holding a teddy bear: Alexis Bledel and Elizabeth Moss in 'The Handmaid's Tale'. © Variety Alexis Bledel and Elizabeth Moss in 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Several took to social media to mock and criticize the campaign for fetishizing the plights of the show’s oppressed characters.

The names of the wines mirror the show’s characters. “Offred,” for instance is named after Elisabeth Moss’ character, who is forced to renounce her birth name to reflect her status as the property of Commander Fred Waterford (“Of Fred”). Lot18 has not released a statement regarding the cancellation of the wine series, which is not officially affiliated with “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu, or MGM.

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