Post Mortems

Post Mortem: Switched at Birth Boss on 'Murky' Bay and Tank Consent Story

Switched at Birth Season 4 Spoilers

A night of drunken fun led to Switched at Birth‘s most controversial storyline yet on Tuesday night.

The episode opened with Bay awaking naked in bed next to her ex-boyfriend Tank with no memory of what happened between them. As the hour unfolded, it was revealed that the two had sex — but was it consensual?

Bay wasn’t so sure since she had blacked out, while Tank argued that she never said no. “But did I say, ‘Yes’?” she wondered.

With more people set to find out next week about what transpired, TVLine talked to executive producer Lizzy Weiss about grappling with such a “complicated” issue and Bay’s feelings on what happened to her. The EP also previews the fallout on Bay and Emmett’s relationship.

TVLINE | Consent and rape are not an easy subject matter; everyone has strong feelings. What made you decide to tackle this?
We were seeing it [discussed] everywhere in the fall for the age group that we’re writing for, and once we started talking about it, a lot of people in the room contributed personal stories about something similar. We decided that it was something we should probably deal with [with] one of our girls. We knew right away that we wanted to do it in the most up-to-date way [with regard to] what’s happening on campuses today, which is that the rules are changing and the paradigm is changing for what is considered consent. When does “yes” mean “yes”?  When can you trust that? And how do both girls and guys get caught up in the new rules in ways that can be real damaging to everyone involved?

TVLINE | I was watching the 20/20 special about the Vanderbilt case before I watched this episode. How much did you take from what’s in the news?
I don’t know that case. Is that a horrible one?

TVLINE | It’s definitely much more black-and-white than what you did.
OK, yeah, that’s the perfect way of putting it. We knew we didn’t want to do one that was black or white. We all read articles over the past couple of years that were very clear and horrible and infuriating from the point of view of the victim, and we knew that we didn’t want to do that. We didn’t want it to be something that was pretty obvious where your heart should lie. We wanted to do one that was, frankly, probably more common [in regards to what] goes on today, which is a little more murky. I just read the story of a Stanford swimmer who was [allegedly] raping an unconscious, intoxicated woman on the quad. We didn’t want to do that story. We wanted to do one in which the issue of content was a little murky.

TVLINE | What were you hoping to get out of it by making it more gray?
Honestly, truth. I do think that most of the cases are more similar to the one that we show, which is guys who are raised well, good guys who aren’t at their core evil people, guys who think that they’re behaving OK and wind up making really bad choices that follow them for the rest of their lives and, of course, ensnare the woman as well in something that will follow her for the rest of her life. But I also think it’s more relatable. When you read these horrible stories, it’s easy to say, “Oh, that will never happen to me because…” Or it’s just easy to keep it at arm’s distance so you don’t connect with it, and you just think, “That is so horrible. I hope they put those guys away. And that poor girl.” I wanted it so that everyone involved – guys, girls, parents – would say, “Wow, that could happen to me.” “That did happen to my friend.” “That can happen to my son.” Something that makes everyone a little bit more scared rather than nauseous. And I connected with the story as a parent. I have a daughter and a son, and I see it as a parent of a future college kid. I think about all the things that I want to tell both my daughter and my son as they enter college and a world with drinking and parties and making good choices, so that they don’t do something that follows them the rest of their lives.

TVLINE | Talk about the decision to put someone as likable as Tank at the center of this conflict.
He’s incredibly likable and charismatic as both an actor and a character, so that was essential. I didn’t want to do it with a character that you just met and you don’t have any relationship to and you could easily throw away as a bad guy. I wanted it to be complicated, because that’s how real life is. We did look at a couple of cases – not that Vanderbilt one that you referenced, but others – and the specifics of them and the texture of real life on college campuses with what happens at parties and texting and friends involved. Everyone has their point of view on what happened. It’s not always clear, and throwing in a guy who has good intentions but still may make bad choices – it doesn’t mean he’s perfect – makes it complicated and real and controversial. We’ll see if people think it’s assault or if they defend Tank and say, “She didn’t say no.”

TVLINE | Some characters come down pretty hard on the side that this is rape. Does that change going forward as more about that night and Bay’s feelings are unraveled?
No. The only one that seems to come down pretty hard is Regina. We needed a grown-up, if you will, to identify it as something beyond cheating so that Bay’s perspective could shift from, “Oh, God, I cheated on my boyfriend” to “Maybe something worse happened here beyond just ‘I cheated.'” So Regina doesn’t change her mind. But we do, in Episode 6, get the family involved. All of the parents find out, and we open it up to other characters who have to find out. It explodes and everyone has an opinion about it in Episode 6.

TVLINE | At the end of tonight’s episode, Bay just wants to forget about it and move on. What can you say about how her mindset is going to change?
We all had read about about Mattress Girl, this rape activist at Columbia University. We talked about her a lot. We wanted someone to be loosely inspired by her, and that’s the rape activist who shows up in Episode 6 to talk Bay into going forward and becoming part of the movement. And we were really clear that we didn’t want Bay to jump on that bandwagon. That’s not who she is as a character. She’s not political. We wanted to take her on the journey of, “I really don’t want to talk about this” and then slowly get to the point, in particular with Katherine’s encouragement and her personal story, of realizing, “I have to speak for myself. I have to articulate what I think happened for this to be put to bed. I can’t hide anymore because it’s out there and everyone knows and everyone has an opinion about it. I need to put myself forward and say what my opinion is.”

TVLINE | What does this mean for Bay and Emmett? How does this affect their relationship going forward?
Great question, and that’s Episode 7. [Laughs] The episode after the two-parter is almost the third [part]. That’s specifically, completely dedicated to Bay and Emmett dealing with it. Emmett finds out, and he has to be honest about how he feels and he has a lot of issues with it and the fact that it was her ex-boyfriend, the fact that she was drunk, the fact that they were in a big fight. So he has to go on a journey, as well, to put this to bed, if you will.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. I LOVED Bay but I fell like she has been ruined by the writers and it is difficult to feel for her given her poor decision making coming into this episode. She has made poor decisions and whatever happened or whatever they wanted to address, it will not have the desired effect it would have had. This is just another episode of Bay drama.

    • banana says:

      Well, it’s important you bring up that perspective, since on these cases a lot of people will blame the girl and any of her bed decisions for getting into such a mess in the first place. But it’s important to stress that (in real life and for fictional characters) none of her decisions make it ok for a dude to have sex with her without her properly consenting. I think setting up that context for Bay makes for a much more interesting storyline and discussion.

      • Excpired says:

        The problem with that logic Banana, is that its entirely on the guy to verify consent when having drunken sex. Is it not just as plausible by your standard, that Bay raped Tank since he too was intoxicated? Nobody says “are you okay to have sex right now sweetheart?” “are you sure?” “can you sign this document verifying you are okay to have sex?” It really all comes down to did Tank actually rape her or not, if she just made a bad choice to have sex while intoxicated, shes as every bit as guilty of it as Tank is who also was intoxicated.

        Now if he held her down or did it while she was unconscious that is one thing, but I don’t think the show is writing it that way at all its pretty clear it was two drunk kids consenting while drunk. They may regret it in the morning, but they still consented while intoxicated. You can’t put more responsibility on the drunk male than the drunk female, unless you are bringing sexism back with a passion.

        • Wooster182 says:

          I agree with you. If they are both drunk, then it’s a double standard to say that it’s the man’s responsibility to stop it.

          If he had been sober and she wa drunk, then I say it was rape. But they were both drunk and she can’t confirm nor deny what she did.

          THAT should be the major takeaway here. As women, it’s our responsibility to protect ourselves. No one should ever be victimized, but a woman should never get so high or drunk that she can’t control herself. You put yourself at risk when you do so. Bay did.

        • I. Agree 100% with Excpired!!!! It is already in the next season & this storyline still bothers me. Bay lost Emmett only, Tank lost EVERYTHING & now has a record. How come Bay doesn’t? Tank was drunk & so was Bay. They didn’t have sex when she was unconscious . They both are @ fault in my opinion & I am a woman.

  2. Guest says:

    Good. This is good. I hope Tank gets it. Bad.

    • lisa says:

      I like Tank better than wimpy Emmet. Tank is genuine. you see what you get. Emmet is a lurker and has tricks up his sleeve

  3. Carol Nicodemi says:

    I’m extremely impressed that you’re tackling this sensitive yet not uncommon issue that happens more than you might think on college campuses and at parties. Tank believes the sex was consensual because he has feelings for Bay and wants to believe she wanted it too. Since these are both likable characters, you kind of side at different times with both of them. Love to see how this pans out.

  4. Ram510 says:

    Why do they want to ruin Tank. Every chance they get they try to make Tank seem like a bad guy

    • Red says:

      It’s to show that people who you know and trust are just as capable and are more likely to sexually assault someone they know rather than total strangers. It’s an abuse of trust

      • lisa says:

        I’ve said something like this down below, but I just want to point out one more time:

        Tank was thoughtful enough to put on a condom. But he wasn’t thoughtful enough to ask Bay if she wanted to, to make sure it was consensual? Because he knew if he asked she would’ve said no, and he really wanted to have sex with her, and he didn’t want to stop after she told him no, because that would be obviously rape?

        No one (sane) has ever accused all men of being rapists, and I’m not sure I’m OK with calling college-aged students, who are basically kids, rapists. However, people need to open their eyes and realize this behavior is reflective of the culture they live in. As long as they have one set of standards for males and a whole different standard for females, things will not improve.

        Girls have been trained to fear rape (although maybe by a different name) before their preteen years. The last time I saw someone suggest boys should be taught not to rape, on the other hand, she was told such discussion would be “psychologically damaging” for little boys… as if was absolutely healthy for an 8-year-old girl to understand the concept of rape. Honestly, for all the talk of wanting men to be men, we cut our boys way too much slack. Let them know what rape is, and let them know it’s a serious violation of human’s rights. Let them know rape isn’t confined to jumping out of the bushes and attacking a stranger, it can be in the form of having sex with a drunk ex-girlfriend, maybe one they’ve had sex with before, or even with a sober wife.

      • How is it only Tanks fault? I am a woman & iTs sending a message to women that if they get so Drunk & have sex , it’s Assault? When do women say yes? Bay is just at much at fault as Tank is, but Bay didn’t get kicked out of school,

  5. says:

    I like that they wanted to make it clear that rape isn’t something that only “bad” people do, but I hope their using a character that’s more of a “real” person than some random new guy no one cares about enough doesn’t end with people defending him.

    • banana says:

      Agreed. But I do think it’s reflective of the fact that part of the problems that leads to these situations is that even genuinely well-intentioned people don’t yet understand how complicated consent can be, which is precisely why it needs to be discussed so that more education can happen on this subject.

  6. lisa says:

    I think the episode should have been about how horribly BAD and irresponsible it is to get drunk and slutty – WHETHER YOU ARE A GUY OR GIRL!!!!! The fault in this happening lies in BOTH of the characters. It;s not always one sided. If people of any age are going to drink to the point of drunkenness they are not accountable for their own actions. think drunk driving….. if drunk drivers could be responsible drivers we wouldn’t have police pulling them over and giving tickets now would we.

    I have been watching since this show started and now it is time for me to say goodnight. enough is enough.

    Someone said the writers ruined Bay. I totally agree. just as they ruined her parents and her (now slutty) real mother.

    This show is like every other. ….. sex and irresponsibility. but, that’s how YOU want our kids to be anyway, right? disgusting. I hope you go off the air real soon into the trash can where this show belongs.

    • Vanessa says:

      Agreed. Address the drinking. This is not rape, it’s regret. If she was into it, how was he supposed to know that she would wake up without a memory? I have hated what the writers have done to these characters since Angelo died. It is getting ridiculous. The meddlesome Regina plants the idea of rape in Bay’s head and suddenly Bay found an escape from her irresponsibility and uses Tank as the scapegoat. Let them both take responsibility for their behavior and evaluate her history with Tank, but don’t call rape so easily. Taking this show off our list of favorites.

      • kn1231 says:

        To the people who are saying Bay is crying rape as an excuse, I have yet to see Bay actually come out and say she was raped. Also, considering that she was that drunk and can’t remember anything means that even if she gave consent, it doesn’t mean anything because she was so intoxicated. So whether or not they actually turn this into a huge rape story line, by the definitions of consent and raped, Bay was raped. There really no grey area as the writers are making it seem. The only grey area that is created is the fact that Tank is a likable character so people don’t want to believe whats in front of them.

        • Lena says:

          Not that simple, there are huge grey areas. He was just as intoxicated and they both seemed to be enjoying themselves. It is true that she can’t remember anything but he wouldn’t know that at the time, BOTH have impaired judgment, both parties were involved. Who’s to say he wasn’t the one who was raped? She doesn’t remember a thing, why isn’t she accountable for her actions? Don’t drink to the point of oblivion. Period.

          • kn1231 says:

            You could definitely make the argument that Tank could have been raped, except for the fact that he remembers everything. Which also eludes to the fact that he wasn’t as intoxicated as Bay.

          • lisa says:

            Well, here’s what we know: Bay also remembered Tank kissing her and her pushing him away. We also know Tank had previously tried to have sex with Bay when they were going out, and even then she also was reluctant. If Tank was really honest he would’ve picked up on those clues and not raped Bay when she was too drunk to reject him the way she previously did.

          • Stacy says:

            Thank you! When two people are drunk and have sex the male is not automatically the rapist of the two.

      • Guest says:

        Agreed!! Drinking is acceptable in our society, so address THAT issue too!!

    • Joey says:

      You know what’s disgusting? The amount of slut-shaming you just did.

    • lisa says:

      This show has tackled issues like cyberbullying, losing your virginity, and not wanting to have sex with someone even after losing your virginity. These are things today’s teenagers deal with. If you are that clueless about the realities of life, don’t have kids. Or if you do, lock them in your basement so they can grow up to be exactly like you.

  7. Connie says:

    Both made a mistake. Both got drunk. It is both of their fault.This was not a “date rape” situation. Bay needs to take responsibility for her actions. So does Tank. They should look at their own actions before blaming another person for their own actions and decisions. If parents want to use this as a “teaching tool” then they need to teach daughters and sons. Do not put yourself in a situation that could harm you. Have respect for yourself and others. I am done with this program.

    • Lena says:

      We are on the same page.

    • lisa says:

      Bay, like so many naive girls her age, did think it was her responsibility at first and felt like she’d cheated on her boyfriend. This isn’t the case. She agreed to drinking. She tried to push Tank away when he kissed her, but at the time was too intoxicated to do more. Tank, on the other hand, remembered everything and wasn’t as intoxicated as her. He had the choice to back off and take responsibility for his actions, but he was too in love with Bay that he would have sex with her without her consent (i.e., raped her). Yet people think both are equally responsible? Wow.

  8. Just Me says:

    I feel like Bay is crying wolf because she regrets what happened nor does she know what to tell Emmett. I believe leaning into the kiss and not pushing away is just the same and saying “yes”. If both people are drinking both are at fault. If you don’t like it be more careful how much your drinking and who your with.

    • Connie says:

      I agree.

    • Educator says:

      And you would be incorrect. Once you are drunk you cannot legally consent to sex. Also, only “yes” means yes — there are actually laws that clearly state this. (See: California) Therefore, someone operating by your logic might find themselves prison. Good luck with that.

      • Billy says:

        What about Tank? He was drunk, he could say he never consented.

        • Becca says:

          This is what I was just thinking about! If Bay swears that she doesn’t remember anything, how did she know Tank gave his consent? Like he could’ve waken up without really knowing what happened, realized that they hooked up, and was fine with it because he just saw it as a drunken one night stand, but what if *he* actually didn’t give consent in the moment? It’s such a slippery slope.

        • legolas_chic says:

          Exactly Billy. How can we say in this situation who should get consent from whom? If two people are intoxicated then either neither are responsible or both are responsible. That is the only black and white part of the situation.

        • lisa says:

          Tank remembered everything. He wasn’t that drunk. And let’s face it: Tank has always had more feelings for bay than the other way around. People thinking this is an equal thing needs to stop.

          • Gern Blanston says:

            That’s the question that needs to asked though, how drunk is too drunk? It’s not that the person is black out drunk but, is the person drunk enough that their judgement is impaired to the point that they cannot give consent. Just because he remembered does not mean that he wasn’t impaired to beyond giving consent himself. Just because he was less drunk than she was is he any more responsible for his actions than she is of hers?

        • Bethany says:

          He started it, he clearly consented

          • Sam says:

            Well no, in the episode they both recalled a version of what happened. They were both heavily intoxicated, how can either statement be taken as fact.
            What was made ubudently clear, was the fact that she immediately regreted HER Decision.
            People are so easy to blame the male without any proper context, multiple times through out episode 6, when bay or other people were talking about the situation, they only mentioned that one person was drunk. Immediately
            Implying that one person was a victim, and the other was the perpatrator.
            It’s completely a double standard to hold a male to a higher responsibility to
            a situation then a
            female just based on gender, they were both incredibly drunk, neither of them can remember certain specifics of the night.

  9. Saara says:

    Thank you so much for doing this storyline. As someone who is going through the justice system for something very similar to this, I can say that it is nice to see it on TV and not feel so alone. I have done everything right, but it feels like the justice system is letting me down. I hope you guys explore that matter as well. Only about 5% of reported cases end in a conviction, so I hope you guys do get into that. Thanks again

    • Connie says:

      Are you say that you got drunk, had sex and now regret it so you are stating you were “raped”? Or are you saying the person you had sex with is saying you raped her?

      • mo says:

        I’m not quite sure how that’s any of your business. The fact is that sometimes people have too much to drink and bad things happen. That doesn’t mean that it’s somehow less rape. It’s people like you, however, that help give this country the “she asked for it” rape culture that it has.

        Good for you, Saraa, and good for SAB. This is something that needs to be talked about. Preferably without all the condescending quotation marks around the word rape.

        • Connie says:

          You posted the comment. I was asking for guidance. You provided it in your reply. I agree with you. People do and say thinks that they regret later. I can assure you no one ever and I mean ever asks for it. Male or female. The topic should be discussed. The topic of drinking to much which can lead to regrettable decisions.

          • lisa says:

            When people no longer have different standards for acceptable behavior for males and females, we’ll make everything about “male or female.” Until then, we should discuss campus rape as what it is: something that’s mostly done to females who end up feeling guilty as if they were criminals (because they drink? really?), by males who have been trained to think they can have any woman of their choice and would never feel guilty enough although they are criminals.

          • Connie says:

            I am so sorry that you were hurt sometime in your life. I showed my children respect and hoped they would respect themselves and others. To be truthful. To help when people need help. To be compassionate and understanding of others. I think these hopes are found in mothers and fathers everywhere. I did not train my children (girls and boys) to these things. I hope that by example they would practice my hopes for them.

          • lisa says:

            Connie, I don’t even know what that comment was in response to. But this isn’t about you or your own children, this is about the culture we live in, from which your children will receive their influences. As long as adults refuse to do anything about the culture, campus rape will always be a problem.

          • Connie says:

            Who do you think sets the culture we live in? I think I did do something about the culture I and my family live in. I hope it prepared them for what happens around them in the real world. I hope they make good decisions and I hope my examples helped them make their decisions. By the way, are you an adult?

      • Saara says:

        I am not saying I got drunk, had sex and now regret it, so I am saying I was ‘raped’. I am saying that I was plastered, some guy I had never talked to, but only seen before, took me for a ‘walk’ and had sex with me, then left. I am saying: I don’t remember a thing and only know what happened because of other people telling me. Including throwing up and then passing out almost immediately after, oh and that I woke up with bruises, lacerations, and broken clothes. The law clearly states that you cannot give your consent to someone for sex if you are intoxicated. This goes for men or women!

        • Connie says:

          Was this individual charged and is he in prison? If he is not, he should be. This was a terrible moment in your life. What he did was wrong. I have to stop here with my comments because you would not like my other observations.

          • Saara says:

            He is not and he is likely to not be charged because there is no concrete evidence. As for the fact that I was drunk, I was at the sports club that I have worked at for 3 years celebrating the cup win with all the guys I trusted like family. So is it okay for all the guys there to get wasted, but not for me, because I am one of the only girls there?

          • Connie says:

            Okay. Here are my other observations. Get a new family that looks out for you! Take charge of your life. Don’t let someone else take charge. Stand tall and move forward. You are worth it!

  10. brandydanforth81 says:

    This is a grey murky area-Tank says she kissed him,was into it.Bay says when she woke up she felt something was wrong,dosent Rember saying yes or saying no and says she pushed him away when he kissed her.This a sensitive subject and I’m sure sadly there are plenty of young people in Bay & Tanks places IRL.We have two different versions of what happened,it’s he said,she said and Bay dosent fully Rember everything.So who’s right?Whos wrong?IDK.Like Bay said she could’ve said yes but just not Rember it.How much of her” feeling something was wrong” is her guilt for cheating on Emmet and how much is if something was really wrong?I agree with other posters saying Bay & Tank both made mistakes and bad choices, drinking so much ect.I agree with Regina that if Bay was that wasted,Tank shouldn’t have sex with her.Drinking impairs our judgement/thinking and sometimes when we’re drunk ,wedo or say things we regret or wouldn’t normally do-this is a case of that Whether it was consent or rape.,

  11. JBC says:

    Nobody takes responsibility for anything on this show. Daphne should be in jail. Bay should have been with Emmet in California. Bay and Tank shouldn’t have gotten disgustingly drunk. What happened to the originality of this show.. Angelo should still be a major part, but no now we have Regina just having to have sex with a virtual stranger because she is a widow. We have Catherine writing a raunchy tell all book about her husband’s baseball friends. I’m not buying Toby and the new girlfriend.. What is happening to this show? It started great but is ending up like a raunchy soap opera.

    • Mel says:

      you have to think that angelo’s actor agreed to kill him off. i think without angelo things changed and that is what the show is about real life changes things that happen randomly without reason or making sense.

  12. Peyton says:

    I really liked the way the episode was handled. Honestly, that happens all the time and girls always feel like they did something wrong. In my opinion, it was not rape. But it was definitely sexual assalut. I know there are three sides to every story, but having seen the show, I think Bay’s memory of what happened in the bedroom is much closer to what actually happened than what Tank’s. Taking overt control in that type of situation is not her personality. Unfortunatelty I think it was a case of a guy who was still hung up on a girl who wronged him and he thought he found his oppertunity. Obviously she did not say yes, or when she asked him he would have affirmed it. Tank remebers everything that happened and had the forethought to stop and find a condom. He should have known better. I know Bay put herself in a horrible situaiton that she never should have been in, but there are times where everyone has done something they wish they hadn’t because their life is off track. I think she and any girl in this situation is sexually assaulted and there should be consequences on both sides for bad judgement.

    • Sherese says:

      I completely agree. What I find interesting is the mob mentality I see in a lot of these comments. First off I don’t remember bay saying it was rape…ever. She seems to want to understand what happened, which I think most people would want. Second why are so many people getting upset over a likeable – yet very fictional – tv character? He’s not real. The issue of assault and rape however is very real, yet people are more worried about a character than taking to heart the issues discussed and wanting to find a way to help people that are in these horrible situations in real life. All these people who want to stop watching a show because of a storyline…a tough storyline that was handled more tastefully and objectively than most stories on tv are handled any given day of the week…is ridiculous. Both characters were irresponsible and should have known better, but at the end of the day, let’s remember the topic at hand and the fact that most of us have made mistakes that we wish we could take back… especially when we were young. Lastly, the story hasn’t even finished playing out yet…wait to see what happens! Then get all bent out of shape when something doesn’t go the way you think it should. I don’t know about you, but last time I checked, real life can be pretty messy at times…And while I don’t agree with everything that goes on in this show, I have to acknowledge that this is life. And if it’s not my life, it’s someone’s life. All I can hope is that I give my kids the tools they need to avoid such painful situations, the courage to come forward if something like this happens to them and the compassion to help someone else going through this.

  13. Marco says:

    I would’ve liked this storyline better if the roles were switched, with Bay being the one who remembered the most.

  14. Jana says:

    The contrived nature of this story really bothered me. The creator said they did the story because they saw it in the news, and thought it should be discussed. That’s not how you write stories for a TV show that needs continuity and development and plot progression. (Look at Glee’s several failings here.) That’s how you write an after-school special. This plot was pulled out of the air, these 2 characters were chosen because they were the most convenient, and bam. A PSA episode that has been rammed into the show to get attention.

    I completely agree the topic is important and needs to be played out on TV so the discussion can be made, but this isn’t natural to the characters or show flow at all. It felt forced and more like a way for the writers to get a well-loved character hated so they can write him off without people whining about it. Well, it didn’t work, as I am now among many who will no longer be watching the show because they pulled this. Tank is a unique character who is obviously gone after next week, and that isn’t fair. This story is not being presented as 2-sided like the creator keeps saying. It’s being presented as Tank is wrong, he must go. Who is Lizzy trying to convince? The actor who plays Tank who she maybe lied to to get him to agree to come back for this?

    This season should have been Bay and Emmett figuring out how to live together (and as individuals) in California, Daphne dealing with the consequences of her actions, and Tank and Toby living it up as roommates. (Toby never has interesting stories- Tank was supposed to change that.) But instead the writers decided to crap on Bay again and run Tank over with the biggest bus imaginable.

    This was the last straw for me. Bye Switched At Birth. I won’t miss you.

    • Connie says:

      I feel the same way. I like Tank. He is the good guy in the series. I will no longer watch this program.

      Bye Switched At Birth.

    • Jessica says:

      Um, Tank has never really been a nice guy. At least not consistently. First there was the thing with the party that his frat threw, where they only invited girls to make fun of them. Tank didn’t participate, but he knew about it and didn’t do anything to stop it and begged Bay not to say anything. Nice. Then he was a total jerk when Bay didn’t want to sleep with him while they were together. He apologized to Bay later that episode but really, dude? Grow up. None of this makes him a bad guy, but it does make him incredibly immature.

      Basically, I’m not really surprised that the writers went this way with this character. They’ve already shown glimpses of the maybe-not-so-nice-but-definitely-immature guy that Tank is.

  15. brandydanforth81 says:

    I feel bad for Bay-it must be terrifying,sad ect to 1.not remember part of a night2.not be sure if you had consensual sex or were raped.Plus,if Bay didn’t give consent,that’s a huge betrayal if her friend,her ex to rape her.It wasn’t some random guy.,which makes it worse.I hope this sparks discussion about drinking too much and being clear in saying yes or no to sex/making sure your parter is willing.

  16. I did not enjoy the story line. Honestly, with this drama, it makes me not want to watch the show anymore.

  17. Laura says:

    I’m interested to see how this turns out. But I personally think it’s ridiculous that it is classed as rape if she didn’t actually say yes out loud. And if he was drunk too why is it his responsibility to stop it, why not hers.
    Just because he’s a man isn’t a good enough reason to say it’s his fault and he should have stopped it. They were both irresponsible. That Is my opinion anyway.

  18. Stacy says:

    I don’t watch the show, but read the article and wanted to weigh in. I’m glad the writers wanted to write about a challenge in today’s youth society, but if they come down on either side of “Rape” or “Not Rape” they’re wrong.

    This is not about some slut “deserving it”. It’s about proving criminal action and intent. We have no date rape drugs or physical abuse/bruising involved to point to rape.

    We have two people with a romantic history both getting incredibly inebriated, one of whom doesn’t remember the incident. That’s not enough to convict. That’s not enough to shout “Rapist” at the top of your lungs the next day. It warrants discussion with close friends & family, and maybe the other person if that’s a possibility. If there is outside evidence to point to Consent or to Rape then that may change.

    It’s sad and unfortunate, but again, that does not constitute a crime in and of itself. The point is this: everyone wants to relax and “lose control”. Then they realize they’ve lost control and things didn’t go as planned.

    I sympathize with anyone who has been betrayed or abused in this nature. Each scenario is different in regards to intent, and to what degree the victim is certain of whether they would have consented.

    To men and women: don’t paint yourself into a corner! It’s not smart to put yourself in a situation where not only can you not defend yourself, but you also can’t defend your story. Similarly, be careful about obtaining consent. (And if you think you may have been drugged, go get tested immediately.)

    • lisa says:

      Rape is sex without consent, it’s pretty simple. I think the problem is the word “rape” carries so much load and people are uncomfortable with the idea of a guy like Tank–who looks and acts so normal (and let’s face it, is white), unlike the images we’ve associated with “real” rapists–is technically a rapist.

      However, let’s get one thing straight: Tank had the time and thoughtfulness to put on a condom, but not to ask Bay if she wanted to? Or maybe he just didn’t want to because he knew she would’ve said yes? Perhaps blaming Tank as a person is not fair, especially since he’s supposed to be 18 or 19 and really is just the product of the culture he was raised in. Yes, rape culture. The one people are refusing to acknowledge although things like this happens all the time. Talk about people no longer wanting to take responsibility.

    • kn1231 says:

      I see your point. I was wrong to be so rude in my earlier posts.

  19. casey says:

    I have yet to watch the episode and I’m not sure I will. i really like Tank and don’t think he deserves this story line and frankly, neither does Bay. I don’t understand how if both parties are drunk, the girl is automatically the victim. How can one person be responsible for both their behaviors and the other not responsible at all
    I think I’m done with this show.

  20. Z says:

    If she were an active participant, touching, kissing actively involved it wasn’t rape, if she’s blacked out drunk and not moving than obviously it was rape.

  21. Rebecca says:

    For some reason I can’t bring myself to watch or get into this story line. This show just seems to try to make sad story lines. The switch, Emmett cheating, Angelo dying, Daphne going rogue, then Bay taking the hit for her and now this…

  22. Michelle Marie says:

    I kind of find this article and episode sexist. I mean, if the tables were turned and the guy woke up and couldn’t remember anything but the girl did, would she be going down for rape? I highly doubt it. I’m not saying this was right but I’m not saying it was wrong either. Everyone is always so quick to blame the guy and have so much sympathy for girls. In this article it’s clearing stating that even “perfect” boys can make poor decisions. Excuse me! I think that statement goes both ways, a girl can just as likely make this same mistake.

  23. Thomas Pang says:

    Excellent routing of the story, and a hot topic. But I really wish this could have been gender bent. In high school, admitting to a girl that I was gay, inspired her to get me drunk, have sex and make me a chip to be won. As we confided in each other, she made a mission to “hook up” with everyone I had any interest in., breaking my emotional spirit and self esteem. This issue goes both ways, and one day, I’d like to see the male as the victim being exploited by the female.

  24. brandydanforth81 says:

    I really don’t know..Tank seemed less drunk than Bay,rembers everything & was sober enough/still had enough common sense to use a condom( thankfully they used protection).Bay dosent seem like the type to just to use a scapegoat/blame her actions or problems on someone else,especially such a serious accusation as rape -I mean I don’t think she’s thinking” I cheated on hiEmmet and feel so bad so I’ll play the victim and make it not my fault so he dosent get mad at me”.

  25. Krystal says:

    wow some of you are so cold saying She is crying wolf or she’s saying it because regrets what happened are you kidding me I don’t care tank was not drunk he knew what happened she didn’t so yeah TANK was not in the right . I hope if u have kids your kids don’t have this kind a thing happen to them because of people like you trying to make the guy in the right and make the girl feel dirty or just call them a liar .

  26. Wendelyn Sullivan says:

    I watched the episode. It was so real. I am on Bay’s side. Yes, Bay got too drunk and needed a place to lie down. Tank was drunk too, and layed down beside Her. He kept looking at Her like He wanted Her, and when He made His move and tried to kiss Her, she stopped Him and pushed Him away. It looks like She passed out and then Tank undressed Her and raped Her. Bay told Daphne when She woke up, She felt like something was wrong. I think her instincts were telling Her she was raped by someone She trusted. She thought Tank was Her Friend. In his perspective, he thinks Bay wanted Him, and he thinks She initiated the sex, Tank is still in love with Bay and when He got the opportunity, He took advantage of Her. I feel bad for Bay. She made some bad choices.

  27. Wendelyn Sullivan says:

    Just wondering if You would ever do a show about self harm. It is happening more and more with teens cutting themselves. I never knew much about it, or anything until it started happening to a family member. I think people should be aware.

  28. some gal says:

    They had drunken sex; I don’t think rape was involve. No one is going to know if they’re going to forget their party experiences the previous night of drinking… At first, I thought she got drugged. However, as I continued to watch, it seems like she was trying to justify that she didn’t cheat.

    she said that she didn’t “remember any of it”. Not just the sex, but also the chair race and not even Tank who was looking out for her. Travis had to remind her.

    when Tank told her what he remembered, she says that HE KISSED HER, and NOT the other way around. Did she suddenly remember it out of nowhere? No, it was probably her altered memory of what NOT DRUNK BAY would actually say or do.

    She was in denial of the situation, and she will pass the five stages of grievances and accept the fact that she slept with her ex-boyfriend out of anger.

    -When Bay almost hooked up with Tank’s frat buddy Ledge, Cliff or whatever.. he looked out for her and didn’t take advantage when she was emotional
    -When bay wasn’t ready when they were together, he was willing to wait.

    I’m only basing it from my observations of what the show portrayed. If Tank really took advantaged, then.. I don’t know what to say. Can’t trust anyone!!!!

    hopefully we’ll get to see what REALLY happened next week!

  29. awnb95 says:

    Where is the discussion of under age drinking. This is the second Time she’s gone to a college party and gotten drunk. Everyone seems to be ok with that. She should know better. Alcoholism can run in families and Regina was one. Also rape is bad but I feel like Bay just regretted what she did and wouldn’t be considering rape if Regina hadn’t planted the idea.

  30. wild_child says:

    I think this episode of a sensitive top was poorly done. The execution felt really sloppy and the writers, in spite of what Lizzy is saying want us to jump to a particular conclusion and that is that Bay was raped. Every situation is different but in this particular episode it came off as regret sex that is now being classfied as rape.

    First off the argument that she doesn’t remember so that means it was automatically rape and that she is not responsible for her actions. Really? If she got behind the wheel of a car a killed a family would people be saying since she doesn’t remember then she wasn’t responsible? Of course not. It would be one thing if Tank slipped her something but that isn’t what happened.

    Also I’d like to add that if Bay was too drunk to consent therefore she was automatically raped then what about Tank? He was also incredibly wasted but just because he remembers and had the wherewithal to put on a condom he is being crucified. Intoxication is intoxication and the law doesn’t have a “degree of drunkeness scale” neither party was able to legally give their consent so either they were both raped or it was just plain poor judgment on both their parts.

    Bay didn’t remember a thing at first but she is trying to adapt the facts to fit her version of events so as to absolve her self of the fact that she slept with someone that was not her boyfriend.

    Lizzy and the writers had an opportunity to do something really amazing here but it just felt like an inorganic way to broach this subject. They had a story they wanted to tell and they completely destroyed established characters and the relationships they have created in order to accomplish their agenda. Date rape is real. Acquaintance rape is real but this is not what happened on Switched At Birth. Regret sex is also real. I think the story was irresponsibly handled.

    • Liza says:

      Totally agree with you. Regret sex isn’t rape and whoever wrote this episode did a horrible job. Great idea but wrongly put. No jury will convict Tank of rape because Bay feels guilty about cheating on Emmett. Really if Bay got behind a wheel and hit someone. Does the fact that she’s drunk completely absolve her? So why in this case should it?

  31. Anon says:

    I just want to point out something. Well first of all I want to make it clear that I am a girl; this is one girl’s point of view. Bay didn’t say yes, but neither did Tank. If Bay is arguing that this is rape, then couldn’t Tank also be arguing the same thing? I understand that in the episode, Bay has a boyfriend and Tank is single, so it has greater consequences for Bay. However, would they handle it if Bay was single, Tank had a girlfriend, and they were both too drunk to give consent? Would Tank then be a rape victim? What are your thoughts?

    • some gal says:

      I agree with you! In today’s society, no one is going to easily believe that a guy would be a victim of rape because… what can they lose? If I hadn’t seen the scenario, i’d probably believe Bay too.

    • casey says:

      I totally agree with you, he was in the same mind set as her

  32. ok i’m posting this comment with out reading all the other comments- but hasn’t anyone ever seen the movie the philadelphia story-it’s on tcm tomorrow and its totally on point about this situation

  33. ilana says:

    I think it is really courageous and helpful of you to tackle this issue in all of it’s murkiness. I watch this show together with my 14 yr old son, and i am definitely using this as a “teachable moment.”

  34. hungergamesgal says:

    I think that if Bay decideds to bring this to court Tank isnt going to be convicted because Bay is now a convicted felon. A judge Wont believe her.

  35. casey says:

    Well this is a tricky situation. I understand that it is called a rap because she didnt give consent to have sex, but how do we really know she didnt give consent. She says that she blacked out and doesnt remember anything, so for all we know she could have said yes. It seems like now days a woman can call rap for any situation. I understand that it was wrong for him to do somthing while she was intoxicated but he wasnt in his right mind either, so you can’t put it all in his hands to be the responsible one as Mr. Kentish said. Im sorry, but they both put themself in a bad situation drinking that much. You should never drink that much to the point that you will black out and not remember anything. I just dont think you can put the blame on one person. They should’nt have put the blame on just him because they did not know exactly what happend being they were in intoxicated and do not remember anything. I have a daughter and I would be upset if this happened to her, but the thing is there is a difference between getting rap and making stupid decisions putting you in bad situations. Its still unclear what really happen but you can not just jump to conclusions and blame the male.

  36. samantha says:

    i just hope emmett n bay stay together there cute together!!!

  37. Veronica. C. says:

    I did a little bit of research and found out its called Acquaintance Rape or normally known as date rape. This type of rape happens between two people that know each other. Actually I Iike this episode coz it has opened my eyes to new facts and things I never thought would be possible.

  38. Bay says:

    I want to know what season and episode is this of he rape and why not report tank

  39. Corruptionisfreedom says:

    One question, what if it was Tank who woke up not remembering a thing?

  40. Jackie says:

    Whether or not tank realizes it what he did was wrong

  41. this is kind of annoying. I really don’t like the way that the characters in the show view rape- like girls the only ones who are victims. While I am a women, I feel like people, especially the media, don’t ever talk about the possibility of men getting raped by women- yes this is possible. It comes up once or twice but it doesn’t make much of an impact. In terms of Switched at Birth, Bay is seriously driving me up the wall. She claims she blacked out and yet, here she is saying she pushed Tank away after he kissed her. Ok well if you were so drunk that you don’t remember how you got into a room or with who, how could you remember pushing away an ex like she said in episode 5. What about Tank?? He was smashed too and if she kissed him, then it’s not Bay who was assaulted, but Tank. The way her character is being portrayed is more like she’s trying to justify the situation so that she won’t feel guilty for cheating. If she pushed him away, then she didn’t really cheat, she was a victim of sexual assault. I don’t see how she has a case if she was that drunk and hasn’t got a clue of what really went down. And then everyone has to get involved, and so far everyone is team Bay. Based on what, Bay? You don’t remember but you’re gonna ruin a guy’s life? especially someone like Tank who in his heart of hearts doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. Where’s your proof Bay, where’s the evidence? I feel so bad for Tank. It’s not right at all. She’s not truly a victim unless the truth about what really went down is revealed.

  42. Sophia says:

    I may be a year late but i think what happened to tank was bull. I’m a woman too so i definitely feel for Bay, but they were both drunk. Saying Tank is completely responsible is setting a double standard. Why because he’s the guy? Critically thinking we could just as well say Bay raped Tank. It was a poor decision on both theier parts, to victimize Tank and turn him into the predator completely defies the whole idea that women and men are equal. We can not blame the guy every time it’s convenient and when it’s not we cry “sexism”. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

  43. The Bearded Wonder says:

    It’s a shame that this type of behavior happens at all, but from what was shown on the Show as the events unraveled. Tank Did Not Rape Bay, true Bay may not remember saying “Yes Lets Have Sex”, but throughout the entire Series both Bay and Daphne were jumping from One Guy to another. Truth be told bay was mad at herself for Cheating on Emmett, that it made it convenient to call it RAPE! What really is Wrong is when it is Rape and the Rapest has enough money to buy the Best Attorney they get away with it on Technicalities and Not the Real Truth. I know it’s only a TV Series and they have to draw in the audience with Scandal, but don’t Hang Out To Dry an Innocent Person, they were both of age and both consulting adults that neither should have been Drinking. Especially when Travis the Under aged student bought the beer, that is whom is at FAULT!!! Regardless of his Handicap that they All Fall Back On!!

  44. R says:

    Emmett isn’t supportive of Bay because it is extremely similar to what happened between him and Simone. Simone obviously was okay with what happened and consented, but she was drunk when she did.