Black Mirror season 4 put a dark spin on the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018 with six new episodes, each of which managed to hit viewers in some kind of visceral way. Well, beyond the challenging stories that we got, one moment of the season 4 episode "Arkangel" has created minor controversy with women's health advocates, and the buzz about it is getting louder by the hour on social media:
"Arkangel" is an episode directed by Jodie Foster, which sees a mother named Marie (Rosemarie DeWitt) implant her daughter Sara with an digital receiver that the Marie can track from an iPad-like device, while monitoring Sara's bodily functions, and even spying through daughter's eyes, and controlling what she can see and hear. Naturally, things go sideways when Sara reaches maturity, and starts the normal misadventures of a teenager.
The "controversy" comes into play when Sara has sex for the first time, and Marie accidentally sees it in the act. Sara ends up pregnant from the encounter - a fact that Marie knows first, thanks to the readings of the implant. In order to "protect" her daughter, Marie goes to pharmacy and gets some "emergency contraception," which she slips into the smoothie she makes for Sara every morning. Later at school, Sara gets very ill, which is when the school nurse reveals to her that the pill she took to terminate her pregnancy is causing her nausea.
As stated in the tweets above, Emergency Contraception is not a method of terminating pregnancy - it is simply for the prevention of pregnancy immediately following an unprotected sexual encounter. This is just one of several matters in Black Mirror season 4 causing a lot of discourse and discussion right now. It will be interesting to see how the showrunners respond.
Black Mirror season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.