‘Sexy’ Handmaid’s Tale outfit pulled after online backlash

An online lingerie retailer has apologised after withdrawing a “sexy” version of the outfit made famous by the Handmaid’s Tale TV series.
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The Handmaid’s Tale and the Power of a Look

The Handmaid's Tale She’s got the look. The look of defiance, the look of fear, the look of horror, the look of joy, the look of determination…it’s all about looks, glares and glances on The Handmaid’s…

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Samira Wiley Says ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2 Will Show Parts Of Gilead We’ve Never Seen

The actress opens up about filming amid the Me Too movement and addresses her past comments on the show’s handling of race.
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‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Takes On The Everyday Horror Of Disappointing Your Mother

In Season 2, Episode 3, we finally meet June’s mom, a dauntless feminist activist who “always knew” Gilead was coming.
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Showrunner Wishes The Show Was Irrelevant

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is A Horror Movie Women Can’t Stop Watching

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The Handmaid’s Tale Cast Unwinds on Set With The Bachelor Viewing Parties

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Finally Has a Premiere Date & a Suitably Grim Trailer

The Handmaid's TaleIt’s almost time to go back to Gilead.
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The Lasting Impact Of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Is The Activism It’s Inspired

This is what resistance looks like in 2017.
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The Lasting Impact Of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Is The Activism It’s Inspired

This is what resistance looks like in 2017.
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Has Apparently Turned Elisabeth Moss Into An Activist

The book and show made her wonder, “What happens if I don’t speak up?”
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Thank Reed Morano For The Nightmarish Beauty Of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’

The show earned an impressive 13 Emmy nods, one of which could go to Morano.
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Margaret Atwood Wants Drake To Make A Cameo In ‘Handmaid’s Tale’

We support you, Margaret, in this and all Drake-related endeavors.
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Some Theories On What You Can Expect From ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2

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Joseph Fiennes Says ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Made Him An Even Bigger Feminist

It’s hard to work on a TV show like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and not be “jolted” into a “state of consciousness,” according to Joseph Fiennes. 

Fiennes plays Commander Fred Waterford, the leader of the oppressive dystopian republic called Gilead in Hulu’s hit series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the book of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The book has been heralded as a feminist classic and (after some initial back and forth) the show seems to be following suit. So it comes as no surprise that Fiennes says he’s become an even bigger feminist after playing the Commander on a set full of iconic women like Elisabeth Moss (the show’s protagonist Offred) and Yvonne Strahovski (Serena Joy, the Commander’s brilliantly sadistic wife).

In a June 15 interview with Marie Claire, Fiennes said the series has really awoken him to women’s issues ― especially since the “most important people” in his life are his wife and two daughters. 

“Certainly the show has jolted me into a much more alert state of the inequality amongst the sexes,” he said. “By virtue of that, I feel much more switched on to feminism, and what it means and stands for. I want my daughters to live in a world where there is equality and parity of pay. We’ve got a long way to go. I read a statistic that if you’re a Hispanic woman it’ll be over 200 years until you achieve parity of pay. So yes, the show has jolted me into a state of consciousness.” 

The show has jolted me into a much more alert state of the inequality amongst the sexes. By virtue of that, I feel much more switched on to feminism, and what it means and stands for.
Joseph Fiennes

Fiennes also spoke about the eery way the dystopian future depicted in “The Handmaid’s Tale” has begun to feel closer to real life over the last year. From the U.S. pulling out of the Paris climate deal to the constant war over women’s bodies and reproductive autonomy, Fiennes pointed to the parallels between fictional Gilead and the United States in 2017.

“When you wake up and you see that America has pulled out of the climate deal in Paris, that sends huge messages about putting coal before the planet. Gilead has suffered from a fragile ecology that is now toxic and affecting fertility rates,” Fiennes told Marie Claire. “There is truth to it ― there is connection, themes, and parallels, sadly. It’s getting sharper and sharper, especially for women ― the autonomy of their bodies, and pro-choice vs. pro-life. Look at the administration, the imbalance of the female presence ― there’s a lot to draw on.”

One silver lining? The protests and resistance the U.S. has seen since President Donald Trump took office. 

“It was wonderful seeing the woman’s marches, and seeing numbers bigger than the president’s inauguration,” Fiennes said. “It gives one great heart that there are people present, alert, and awake, and voicing their frustrations. We need more of that.”

Head over to Marie Claire to read the rest of Fiennes’ interview. 

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Vaquera Stages ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Fashion Show

Before fans of the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale” have to say goodbye to the eerily topical dystopia of Gilead June 14 when the show’s season finale airs, Vaquera codesigners David Moses, Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee and Claire Sully gave fans in New York a little extra fix of white bonnets and red robes. They staged a “Handmaid”-inspired fashion show/performance art piece Thursday that rivaled the show/Margaret Atwood’s book’s plot line for riveting weirdness. Shown at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, the show featured a lineup of handmaids — male and female, all ages, sizes and ethnicities — in deconstructed versions of the show’s red robe/white bonnet uniform. One wore a white robe draped in cone bras; another held an umbrella shrouded in white gauze. Another wore what looked like red couch cushions. One by one they aggressively stomped around the square white stage, eventually standing in the center and giving a little personal performance. “We wanted people to come into the middle and express themselves in different characters,” said Sully. “It was taking the forced identity of the handmaid and subverting it,” said Moses.
Lest anyone think the show was the result of creative superfans, the Vaquera collective started work on the

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Yvonne Strahovski Finds The Victim In The Villain On ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

It’s been months since “The Handmaid’s Tale” wrapped filming, and Yvonne Strahovski still can’t get Serena Joy out of her head. 

As the resident baddie in Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s celebrated novel, the Australian actress is discovering new depths to a character whose inner life was largely absent from the text. 

For Strahovksi, her first introduction to the world of “The Handmaid’s Tale” was the pilot script ― she went back and read the book later ― and what inspired her wasn’t the character’s cruelty, but her pain. Capturing the humanity of a woman complicit in the subjugation of her gender under an oppressive regime was an opportunity to make the role her own. 

Until the sixth episode “A Woman’s Place,” released on Wednesday, the series utilized flashbacks as emotionally-driven viewpoints to juxtapose what life was like for Offred (Elisabeth Moss) before she was forced to bear children for the ruling class to which Serena belongs. 

This week, Strahovski delivered some of the finest work of her career, as the series veered away from the book and back to a time where Serena more than lived up to her surname, something that has been stamped out in the totalitarian state she helped create. 

HuffPost recently caught up with the actress.

The series paints Serena as a more complex character as compared to the book. In this version, we understand her as tragic figure. Was that something that attracted you to the role? 

It was definitely something that was important to me after reading the book and having the series flesh out Serena by humanizing her a little more. Yes, she’s the villain. Yes, she’s the evil character, but she also has feelings. It was important for me to try to attempt to have audiences connect with her in some way, shape or form emotionally because she is so unrelatable in every other way. I was going to say in a lot of ways, but I’m gonna say she’s unrelatable because she’s evil.

There’s a real sense of sadness with Serena.

On paper she is so evil, but where does she draw the line? I feel like Serena is so complicated because she is one of those authority figures who created this society, but now she has to live in it. She’s realizing it’s not so great for her either. On some level, she’s also dealing with a lot oppression as a female because she’s been stripped of her rights, to a degree. How do you deal with the complexities of trying to negotiate the fact that you did this to yourself, but also you’re living it and it doesn’t feel so good anymore?

This week’s episode was particularly flashback-heavy and shifted the POV to Serena. What was it like to explore her life before Gilead? 

It felt really unnatural and weird. It really did. It felt like a big giant leap, but I think it’s an important one, because it’s heartbreaking. We’re following the story of Offred and Ofglen and all these amazing characters who are suffering in some way, shape or form, but I think this is a story about how everyone is suffering.

Having those flashbacks with her finding some sort of happiness and meaning and place for herself in the world is important to show, even though I personally struggle to not judge her and totally disagree with what she’s doing as a passive bystander when women are totally losing their rights. 

The flashback scene where Serena isn’t allowed to speak in a meeting about the creation of this new society because she is a woman stood out to me. 

That scene was hugely important to me because it bridged that gap between Serena Joy pre-Gilead, as we see in those flashbacks, and then Serena Joy in Gilead. We spend so much time focusing on the current Gilead, so suddenly in Episode 6, the flashbacks were really hard to imagine after setting up this pent-up, very uptight character. The biggest thing on my mind was at what one point did Serena Joy exit the conversation about how Gilead was going to be set up.

I think that’s the beginning of the demise of her former self and the demise of her and the commander’s relationship. That’s where her rights started getting taken away and she no longer has a voice. It’s this weird line she walks of having a pure intention to begin with of saving the world and creating more babies in a religious-based way. Somewhere along the line, it got obviously really messed up.

Serena and the Commander (Joseph Fiennes) actually share a consensual and loving sex scene in the flashbacks. What was it like to film a sex scene that wasn’t so dark? 

It kind of felt like a normal day of a different show that wasn’t “The Handmaids Tale.” It wasn’t rigid. The walls are very thick and high in Gilead and as each character, we live bound by those parameters, so to have those parameters let go and just shoot a scene that seems pure, loving, passionate and intimate just kind of seemed like a normal day at work instead of working on material that’s really confronting very potent issues and themes. 

How did it differ from the ceremony scenes you share with Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes? What goes through your mind when you’re all in bed together? 

In the actual moment, it’s pure rage for Serena. She’s lost a lot also. She’s lost her ability to do her work as an author or a spokeswoman. She’s lost her right to connect to her husband sexually. She’s got a lot of emptiness inside her, so she holds onto the one thing that will make her life better there, and that’s having a baby. Serena also has no way out. It’s not like she can leave her house, the country or the Commander. In a way, it’s her own story of survival, but she just happens to be doing really shitty things while she’s surviving. 

I’ve always had this image of her as a boiling pot of water on a stove with the lid tightly on. Every so often, the boiling water inside gets [to be] too much and it has to release and the lid lifts and she releases her rage. There’s just no release in Gilead, so when she can abuse her power and release some of that pent-up rage, she does. 

Did you stay in character during the ceremony scenes? How did you break the tension?

No, I think I would go insane if I stayed in that mode the whole time. We have to let go. Although, I do have to say mentally it was hard to let go of Serena because she is so complex and has all these dualities that feels like a puzzle sometimes. She did stay with me in my brain for the most part of shooting the show. 

We’re not, like, freaky-deaky toward each other on set. It’s a very normal cast and crew and we all like to come to set because it’s just a workday for us. After we get past “How was your weekend?” and “How was your night last night?” we switch gears and get into this kind of stuff. 

What do you make of Serena’s smoking habit? It seems to be one the few obvious cracks in her “perfect wife” facade. 

I sort of saw it as a calming thing and also something to do. There’s just not a whole lot that she has to do in this society. She’s the master of the house and she’s supposed to take care of all things domestic. But I just feel like there would be that element of boredom if you’re in that situation. What do you do? She paints, knits and she smokes because there are no other things to do our outlets. The smoking thing did really seem to me like a time-passing mechanism or a calming mechanism when things get too much for Serena when she’s about to blow. 

Hulu has renewed “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a second season. What are your thoughts on the series moving away from the text and into uncharted territory?  

I’m excited by the prospect. I feel like each of these characters have so much to offer and there’s a lot to explore. I love that we’ve been given this opportunity to spend these 10 episode reflecting what Maragaret Atwood’s book originally told us, but now we have these established characters, so we can take them places. It feels like there are a lot of places to go because we are in such a rigid society, so when everything is so pent up and rigid there a lot of rules to be broken. For someone like Serena, it would be really interesting to see her belief system challenged against her own will. I would love to see her own walls that she built herself crumble around her.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

New episodes of the “The Handmaid’s Tale” are available every Wednesday on Hulu. 

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Yvonne Strahovski Struggled to Turn Off Her Empathy for The Handmaid’s Tale

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How Hulu and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Revived 2 Careers

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Unequivocally A Story By, For And About Women

With the much-awaited release of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” only four days away, much has been said in the past 24 hours about who the story, in both its book and TV show form, is for.

In Saturday’s New York Times review, executive producer Bruce Miller discusses spearheading the show as a man when its creators initially wanted a woman to do so: 

“Offred spoke to me,” Mr. Miller said. “She’s in this nightmarish situation but she keeps her funny cynicism and sarcasm. She finds really interesting ways to pull levers of power and express herself.”

But Mr. Miller wasn’t a shoo-in for showrunner because producers were looking for a woman, he recalled. “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been a seminal right-of-passage novel for many young women for over three decades; a feminist sacred text.

“It’s sacred to me, too,” Mr. Miller said. “But I don’t feel like it’s a male or female story; it’s a survival story.”

At the show’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, the starring actors placed a heavy emphasis on the show being a “human” story and not a “feminist” one

“I think that any story, if it is a story being told by a strong, powerful woman… any story that’s just a powerful woman owning herself in any way is automatically deemed ‘feminist,’” said Madeline Brewer, who plays handmaid Jane. “But it’s just a story about a woman. I don’t think that this is any sort of feminist propaganda.”

Elisabeth Moss, who plays the show’s main character Offred, echoed Brewer’s comments

“It’s not a feminist story, it’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights,” Moss said. I never intended to play Peggy [from ‘Mad Men’] as a feminist and I never expected to play Offred as a feminist … I approach it from a very human place, I hope.”

Atwood has since responded by neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the cast. 

“It’s not only a feminist story,” she said. “It’s also a human story.”

While the show doesn’t need to be labeled as “feminist,” and while it’s fine that a man who loves the story spearheaded its televised iteration, a story that a woman wrote about the forced subservience of women and their subsequent survival deserves to be owned by women. We get to claim it. 

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian fiction, sure, but it’s one that has women storming to their local libraries to grab a copies of the book. Last month, women dressed up as handmaids and protested anti-abortion legislation in the Texas Senate gallery. And, at this year’s SXSW festival, women wore handmaids costumes and roamed the streets of Austin, Texas, as performance art. Even though the book was written more than 30 years ago, it is resonating with women all over again.

Rebecca Traister wrote about reading the book in the era of President Donald Trump for New York Magazine in Februrary. “[T]here’s no question that reading about Atwood’s imagined dystopia is far scarier today than it was, I suspect, for adults living in 1985,” she wrote.

For anyone who has read the book, there shouldn’t be much surprise as to why women feel so connected to it in this current political and social moment. After all, it feels closer to reality than the show’s creators wanted.

Moss, who also serves as a producer, acknowledged the eerie and terrifying parallels between Offred’s nightmarish journey and Trump’s America.

“We never wanted the show to be this relevant,” she told Entertainment Weekly in December.

The relevance of story is easy to spot.

In the dystopian theocracy of Gilead, where “The Handmaid’s Tale” is set, women’s bodies are policed and controlled by the male-run state. Handmaids’ only purpose is to bear children ― they have no rights, no freedom, no lives. Women are not trusted with their own bodies. 

America now has a president who brags about grabbing women “by the pussy.” This week, a lawyer in Tennessee said that women are “especially good at lying … because they’re the weaker sex.” A Missouri congressman said last year that becoming pregnant after a rape is a blessing from God. Rooms full of men make legislative decisions about women’s bodies. A panel of men in Maryland decided that rapists can continue to have parental rights over the children who were conceived by rape. And abortion access is under threat across the U.S. 

But the beauty of “The Handmaid’s Tale” ― something that Miller misses and perhaps what women connect to most deeply ― is that it is inarguably, explicitly, a story of women’s survival and audacity. 

The first time I read the novel, in the fall of 2015, I cried. Not because its content was so traumatizing. (It was.) And not because it felt so eerily similar to what was happening in our political landscape. (It did.)

I cried for lines like this:

 “We learned to whisper almost without sound. In the semidarkness we would stretch out our arms, when the Aunts weren’t looking, and touch each other’s hands across space. We learned to lip-read, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other’s mouths.”

And lines like this:

“I keep on going with this sad and hungry and sordid, this limping and mutilated story, because after all I want you to hear it … By telling you anything at all I’m at least believing in you … Because I’m telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are.”

Atwood’s beautifully constructed prose is at its finest when she is portraying the sheer resilience of my fellow women.

In the wake of the presidential election, the resilience of women is what has kept me going. Women are resisting, calling, volunteering, donating… and living.

And like the fictional Offred ― whether Moss thinks she’s “feminist” or not ― we intend to survive.

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: A Newly Resonant Dystopia Comes to TV

The Hulu series, which stars Elisabeth Moss and is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, arrives with an unexpected resonance in Trump’s America.
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Welcome To An All-Too Real Dystopia In First ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Trailer

Things might look pretty bleak in America currently, but at least we aren’t living in a totalitarian regime… yet.

The first trailer for Hulu’s television adaptation of the celebrated Margaret Atwood dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale arrived on Saturday and we’re already prepared to declare the upcoming 10-episode series as our new favorite TV show. 

“The Handmaid’s Tale” follows a group of women living under an oppressive theocracy that only values them for procreation. In the 30-second clip, we meet Offred (Elisabeth Moss), who is forced contend with this new reality after being separated from her husband and daughter. 

 “I had another name, but it’s forbidden now,” she says. “So many things are forbidden now.”

We have an endless amount of questions from watching the teaser, but all we can think about is where are they taking Alexis Bledel?!

Ugh, this would never happen in Stars Hollow. 

“The Handmaid’s Tale” premieres Wednesday, April 26 on Hulu.

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