‘Mad Men’ Conspiracy Theory: Is Megan Draper an Iconic Real-Life 1960s Actress — and Does This Mean the Character Is Doomed?

May 30, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A conspiracy theory has surfaced involving the hit AMC drama “Mad Men” following Sunday night’s episode. EW.com reports that a viewer stirred speculation after pointing out a similarity between a skimpy costume worn on the show by Megan Draper, played by Jessica Pare, and a 1960s photo shoot for Esquire magazine starring actress Sharon Tate.

You can click here to see a comparison of the two photos, which were posted on Twitter. But be warned that the material is racier than what we would normally post.

EW.com reports: “An observant viewer tweeted at costume designer Janie Bryant to ask about the similarity between a T-shirt seen on Megan Draper and one worn by model Sharon Tate in a 1967 photo shoot for Esquire magazine, and Bryant’s less-than-crystal-clear response has sparked talk of a costume-driven conspiracy theory on Reddit.”

The viewer, @BHisaRockstar, tweeted: “Dying to know if this pic of Sharon Tate inspired Megan’s look? My dad shot it for @esquiremag in ’67.”

Bryant’s reply: ”No coincidence.”

The piece notes that Bryant’s brief tweet could be interpreted as meaning either “it’s no coincidence,” or “no, it’s a coincidence.” But “Mad Men” viewers seem to be leaning toward the former interpretation — and that has them concerned about the fate that awaits the character.

The report notes: “In August 1969, Tate — then eight-and-a-half-months pregnant and married to director Roman Polanski — was murdered by followers of Charles Manson during a home invasion at the couple’s home in Los Angeles. Does the red star on Megan Draper’s shirt mean that the character is headed towards a similar fate?”

Some viewers already have their minds made up. One Reddit commenter is quoted in the report posting: “I totally buy the link. Tate was murdered in August of 1969, so next season probably. She was murdered by a home invasion, and this season of Mad Men seems to be really emphasizing (normalizing?) the idea of the home being ‘invaded’ by the outside.”

Another commenter writes: “It would be a huge move to have a character to enter a historical event and replace a victim in this way. I love the idea, but still. Maybe Megan isn’t Sharon Tate, but will eventually die in the same manner? The shirt is just alluding to her future demise by hinting at a real event?”

The show is known for its symbolism, the report notes, adding: “Though series creator Matthew Weiner has been accused of being a little heavy-handed with his use of symbolism — especially when it comes to the subject of death and dying — a direct link between the tragic end of Sharon Tate and the fate of Megan Draper seems too easy.”

The show’s designer, Bryant, commented last month on the connection between the show’s costumes and real-life 1960s style icons, downplaying the role of the latter.

“It’s not just one or a few actresses or models or style icons, that’s not what the show is about,” she’s quoted as saying. “It’s really about each individual character. I get inspired by a lot of different things, and one is the script and the things that these characters say to each other … and it’s that process of doing research and being inspired by different visual outlets, whether it be a TV show, a catalogue, a magazine, a photograph, or getting inspired by going through newspapers.”

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