A wedding photo depicting a scene from the Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale" has triggered backlash online from some who say the image is insensitive and misses the point of the show.
However, the photographer said that's the point.
The image, taken in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, shows newlyweds Kendra and Torsten in front of the filming location for the "hanging wall," which is a site of morbid corporal punishment where bodies of those who have committed a crime in the ultra-religious state of Gilead, a sort of dystopian future America in the show and book of the same name by Margaret Atwood, are hung. Handmaids dressed in red from the show were photoshopped into the picture.
Van Daele and Russell Photography
Kendra and Torsten, who have not made public their last name, declined to comment on the image.
However, Shawn Van Daele, of Van Daele & Russell Photography, said the response to the photo is exactly what he'd hoped for.
In an email to NBC News, Van Daele said both he and the couple are huge fans of the show and book, and said he's happy the photo has gone viral, hoping it will "wake people up to how they too contribute to the oppression and hatred that they're rightfully worked up over."
"Everyone is talking about this issue now, rather than binging on a television series and then not doing ANYTHING about what they’re SO worked up over until the next season comes out in the spring," Van Daele said. "What’s sad is that the oppression and hatred, the division, fear and breakdown of HUMANITY & COMPASSION is being perpetuated in every one of these comments."
Van Daele said the couple "are no strangers to many of the subplots of oppression, violence, and inequality that run through Margaret’s brilliant work."
"What’s sad is that everyone is REACTING exactly as expected — just like in Gilead — and missing the opportunity to think for themselves, to educate themselves and become ENGAGED ACTIVISTS instead of simply keyboard warriors," he added.
Van Daele said he hopes the image will inspire more people to join in protests like women's marches, the fight for equal rights and "so many other important causes, instead of sitting here scrolling through Instagram."
But on Facebook, commenters seemed unmoved by Van Daele's explanation.
"Bold of you to assume that none of us are active in our communities or doing anything to affect change. Perhaps THAT'S one of the many reasons this is offensive. What are y'all doing besides being edgelords?Also...this photoshop is B A D," one person wrote.
Another added, "How did no one think this was a terrible idea?"