Upon its release on 1993’s In Utero album, Nirvana’s “Rape Me” stirred up quite a bit of reaction, and 18 years later it’s still having quite an effect, as evidenced on HBO’s most recent episode of the hit series Succession. The song turned up in a pivotal scene, meant to throw a wrench in press conference being led by Siobhan Roy (Sarah Snook).
In the episode, Siobhan steps to the podium at Waystar Royco for an employee town hall to address misconduct accusations happening in the cruise division, but her speech is soon interrupted as the familiar opening guitar licks and Kurt Cobain’s vocals on “Rape Me” begin to drown out her speech. As her helpers attempt to track down the source of the particularly prescient choice of song, Siobhan tries to keep it together with the cameras on. The handiwork of this sabotage likely came from her brother Kendall (Jeremy Strong).
With the episode recently airing, Courtney Love chimed in on its usage within the series, stating via Twitter, “@succession .. I’ve never felt so good about approving a usage of a song of Kurt’s. You understood this: him, it’s beautiful. I’m sure he’s proud.”
Love also posted on her Instagram stories about the usage, adding, “I was in the room watching (agog) as this song was written in about an hour, and I’ve never been so proud of approving one of Kurt’s songs, this cue in @succession is as if they truly understood kc what he was screaming his heart out … without specifics … about. I’m sure wherever he is he’s proud of this.”
Fans may remember “Rape Me” causing a stir at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards as the band butted heads with the network over which song they would perform. Eventually relenting and agreeing to play “Lithium,” the group caused a few network pulses to race when Cobain played the opening guitar licks and singling the initial lyrics to “Rape Me” before eventually performing the agreed-upon “Lithium.”