A COUPLE have been criticised for ‘promoting rape’ after announcing their pregnancy via a Handmaid’s Tale-themed photoshoot.
Leah Hampton, 28, and her husband Marquis Wimberly, 27, announced the good news in a Facebook post, which has caused controversy.
Leah and Marquis, from Orlando, Florida, told their close family and friends about the pregnancy, but decided to do a social media post for more distant relatives.
With the pair fans of the series, they decided to use it as a theme and re-created poses from the show, with Leah dressed in the handmaid’s red outfit.
Leah, who’s expecting her first child in February, shared the post and captioned it: “Blessed Day!
“We are happy to announce that I am carrying the precious fruit, arriving February 2020. Happy Halloween!”
But their post quickly went viral gaining thousands of comments, as people slammed the couple for ‘promoting rape’.
The show, based on the book by Margaret Atwood, tells the story of a dystopian future where women – called handmaids – are used a sex salves to re-populate humanity.
One person said: “Do they not realize they’re literally promoting rape by doing this photo shoot?”
Another commented: “Congrats on your rape baby.”
A third wrote: “Nothing says “I’m excited about my baby” like rape references. Dumb c***.”
Another person added: “Ignorance at its most repugnant.”
And someone else thought: “Your choice of pregnancy theme is a bit creepy and seems to glorify enslaving women as incubators. BUT your house is gorgeous!”
The parents-to-be said they were shocked at the negative comments they received, and never expected their photoshoot, by Brittany Garcia Photography, to go viral.
Leah said: “We wanted to do a pregnancy announcement but we didn’t want the usual ‘stand around in a meadow’ kind of photos.
“We are both fans of the show. I got Marquis hooked to it so we decided to use it as our theme.
“Our photographer had never seen the show so Marquis showed her some pictures from the show from memorable scenes.
“It’s clear she got a good sense of what it looks like because the photos perfectly recreate the tone. I was ecstatic when I saw the photos. They’re beautiful.
“Our friends and family have all had positive reactions. When I posted it, immediately people were really excited and wanted to share it so we made it public.
“It was still overwhelmingly positive until the next morning and that’s when we started noticing all these hateful comments.
“Initially I was just in shock. I wasn’t expecting to see all these negative comments. People just don’t think, they could have done some real damage.”
Leah initially began deleting hateful comments, but as it snowballed Marquis encouraged her to turn off comments.
But in defiance the mum-to-be updated her post, hitting out at their critics.
She wrote: “Some people have been so viscerally moved by the Handmaid’s Tale that our photo shoot has upset their sensitivities.
“They care so deeply and passionately about women that they have resorted to harassing a pregnant woman on Facebook.
“Folks, we are UNMOVED.
“We hope you continue to enjoy our Halloween/Baby Announcement photos and our take on the fictitious television show, the Handmaid’s Tale.
“Not everyone will like or agree with our theme. We don’t give a f***.”
Marquis said the couple were unprepared for the backlash, but are adamant they’re not deleting the photos.
He said: “We were not expecting the negativity that came from it – not even a little bit.
“It would be unreasonable of us to expect everyone to be in love with what we did. We knew there would be some mixed reactions but not to the level it has been.
“I think people felt like they could shame us into removing them or into apologising.
“But we were not going to take the post down or issue some sort of apology. That’s what we mean when we say we are unmoved.
“I’m comfortable with what we put out there and what we did. I’m okay if some people don’t like it. I’m just not okay with people saying crazy things.”
He said people had called into question their parenting skills, adding: “People were saying they don’t get what kind of parents we’re going to be and then in the next breath asking Leah ‘do you need help?
“This is the number for a survivors’ hotline’.
“The most disturbing to me was that people made this sort of connection like our photo shoot was there to portray the manner in which our child was conceived.
“It never occurred to me that people would go that far and read into it in that way.
“Of all the pregnancy shoots I have seen, I have never known any to offer some insight into how the couple conceived their child.”
He pointed out the TV show wasn’t real, comparing their photoshoot to other themed snaps where parents were in costume.
Marquis said: “If we had dressed up as Bonnie and Clyde, who are real life murderers, would people assume that our child was conceived on the run and we bought our crib with bank robbery money?
“This is a fictional TV show. That they’ve had that response to something that isn’t real or tied to real events doesn’t make sense to me.”
Meanwhile a sexy Handmaid’s Tale Halloween costume was ditched by fashion website after a furious backlash.
And this bride and groom were slammed for a ‘deeply disturbing’ Handmaid’s Tale-themed wedding shoot.
And you can buy a special sponge to use post-sex and women think it’s “genius”.