Margaret Atwood has told viewers upset by the changes in the TV series 'The Handmaid's Tale' to get over it.

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Season two of the television adaptation of the award-winning 1985 novel, set in a dystopian world where women are enslaved by men, starring Elisabeth Moss has just begun to air and some fans are up in arms by how the show has changed the original storyline.

But Atwood, 78, told an audience at the Hay literary festival in Wales: "I think I would have to be awfully stupid to resent it because things could have been so much worse. They have done a tippety-top job... the acting is great, they've stuck to the central set of premises. It's a television series. If you're going to have a series you can't kill off the central character and you also can't have the central character escape to safety in episode one of season two. It's not going to happen."

Atwood revealed she had lost any control over the TV rights to the book when they were bought by the distributors of the 1989 film adaptation which starred the late Natasha Richardson, but it had been so long that people had forgotten who actually owned the rights.

The Canadian author explained: "I think somewhat to their surprise, it turned out to be MGM who sold them to Hulu.

"None of this was in any way under my control. Even if I had thrown a tantrum and said you can't do this, that would have had no legal standing."

And Atwood - who refuses to be labelled a feminist - revealed seven out of the 10 show writers are women.

Recalling her first meeting with the show's creator Bruce Miller, she claimed he told her: "'Hi I'm Bruce Miller and I'm the show-runner and I have got one penis too many. But I've hired a lot of women.'"

Elisabeth Moss stars as the book's protagonist, rebel Handmaid Offred, and also co-produces the series.

She said recently: "The thing that means the most to me that people say is that it gave them some sort of strength or some sort of bravery. Maybe they're going through something in their own country, whether they're a woman or whether they're gay or whatever it is. They watch the show and it gave them some sort of strength to be who they are and to not give up on who they are."


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