How Sex Education Season 4 Disappointed the Asexual Community: Activist Yasmin Benoit Speaks Out



Have you caught up on Sex Education season 4? There’s some controversy around O’s character and its impact on asexual representation. Let’s learn more about it.

How Has Sex Education Season 4 Disappointed the Asexual Community?

Asexual activist and consultant Yasmin Benoit, who was brought on board by Netflix to provide insightful guidance for the character, had high expectations for O’s storyline. However, as the season unfolded, it became evident that O’s character fell short of expectations, leaving the asexual community feeling let down.

Yasmin Benoit, committed to promoting positive asexual representation, had hoped to avoid common stereotypes and misrepresentations. Unfortunately, the character of O ended up serving as more of an antagonist, a role that didn’t align with the nuanced approach they had envisioned.

Several key scenes that were meant to explain O’s sexuality, her motivations, and the challenges she faced as an asexual woman of color did not make it to the final cut, leading to confusion and disappointment among viewers.

For instance, a pivotal moment where O betrays her friend Ruby was intended to deflect from O’s insecurities related to her asexuality, yet on screen, it appeared unprovoked and malicious. Additionally, the context surrounding O’s coming out as asexual and labeling Otis as a misogynist during a student counselor debate was altered, impacting the character’s development and the narrative’s overall impact.

While Yasmin Benoit does not attribute malicious intent to the production team’s editing choices, she emphasizes the significance of accurate and sensitive representation, especially when O was the only asexual woman of color on television. In such a high-profile series like Sex Education, poorly executed representation has the potential to reinforce harmful stereotypes and negative perceptions about asexual individuals.

The most disheartening aspect for Benoit is that she had entered the writing room with the explicit intention of avoiding the kind of portrayal and backlash that eventually transpired. She had consistently advocated for O not to be depicted as a villain or adhere to the harmful asexual stereotypes.

Regrettably, the unintended outcome has led to fans targeting Yasmin Benoit with criticism on social media, making her the focal point of their dissatisfaction. This situation is particularly unfortunate because Benoit has dedicated her career to promoting positive asexual representation.

In conclusion, the character of O in Sex Education season four, despite good intentions and the involvement of an asexual consultant, fell short of delivering the nuanced and positive representation that was hoped for.

The disappointment surrounding O’s portrayal highlights the need for careful and accurate representation of underrepresented communities, as missteps in major series can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misconceptions.

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