Domestic Violence In Television
Gossip Girl (2007-2012) is a teen drama show about a gossip rag that mischievously documents the happenings amongst a high-profile group of young Manhattan socialites. The show is notoriously known for the volatile relationship between Chuck and Blair, which sparked many controversies throughout its airtime. Between their relationship being heavily romanticized by fans and defended by the show’s writers, CAWC wants to draw attention towards some concerning red flags of abuse within their relationship.
One scene in particular solidified viewers’ beliefs and raised awareness towards the unhealthiness within their relationship. In Season 4, episode 20, Blair meets with Chuck alone at his request. In this scene, we learn that Chuck tried to interfere with her current relationship. He calls her “his” and when Blair refuses his advances, Chuck becomes physically aggressive, shoving her into a wall. Blair reiterates that “it’s over,” prompts Chuck punches and shatters the window next to her head. Watch the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=550-FDajRJQ
While watching the scene, CAWC Counselor and Advocate Liz Delgado observes both emotional and physical violence from Chuck. In the beginning of the scene, Chuck claims “I need you Blair, like I never have before.” Liz noted that: “this statement falls under the abusive red flag of Unrealistic Expectations. This red flag states that the abuser is dependent on their partner for their needs and says things that make their partner seem superhuman.
“I also see an exertion of power and control in the way Chuck talks to Blair. Chuck states, ‘You’ll never marry anyone else, you’re mine’ and repeats this as he pushes her back onto the wall. This portion is intimidation by emotional abuse and physical violence. An abuser can use intimidation by smashing or breaking things to show that they have the power to inflict violence. Chuck is seen utilizing this tactic with Blair as he punches the window next to her face. Chuck could have approached the conversation differently by listening to Blair and communicating effectively.”