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Patty Hearst's Family Upset Over the Way She's Depicted in TV and Film Projects
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12 Jan 2018 01:45 PM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Patty Hearst (Image Source: Public Domain)

Women who cried rape were treated much differently in the 70s than they are today in the midst of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

In upcoming film and TV projects, Patty Hearst is being depicted as a manipulator and someone who embraced her captors, with her rape being downplayed, and this is quite upsetting to her family.

Hearst is the granddaughter of the wealthy publisher William Randolph Hearst. She was kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army and eventually carried out crimes with her captors.

After her arrest, she maintained that she was being threatened and was being raped, forced into complying with the crimes. Nevertheless, she was found guilty of bank robbery with the assumption she'd joined the SLA, yet her sentence was commuted by Jimmy Carter, and she was later pardoned by Bill Clinton.

With an upcoming film as well as a TV docuseries based on Jeffrey Toobin's book American Heiress, they downplay her rape while focusing on her manipulation during her trial and her familiarity with her captors.

Her family believes the reason for this is because Toobin's sources were two men: Bill Harris, one of her former captors, and Steve Weed, her former fiancé.

Sources tell TMZ that it's appalling the way the two projects downplay her rape: "When you strip it away in the midst of all this #TimesUp, #MeToo and 'listen to the victim,' they are essentially saying she loved it. She was asking for it."

They believe that the stories being told of Hearst's time while captive "are making a victim who suffered, and still suffers, culpable for her trauma while showing a blatant disregard for the victim and the human aspect of the story. This is another example of men trivializing women."

It's easy to see why they would think that. If Hearst was going through her trial now instead of in 1976, she might be depicted quite differently with the current mood of sexual misconduct allegations.

Hearst married Bernard Lee Shaw just after she was released from prison. He was a policeman who had been assigned to protect her. They had two children, Gillian and Lydia, and he passed away in 2013. Hearst became a fundraiser for charities, with a particular interest in a foundation that helped children afflicted with AIDS.

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