LOS ANGELES - American abortion rights organisation Planned Parenthood has slammed Netflix hit movie Blonde for contributing to “anti-abortion propaganda”.
The movie, starring Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas as American screen icon Marilyn Monroe, shot to the top of the streaming platform’s chart a day after its release last Wednesday, but also came under fire from critics who called it sexist, cruel and exploitative.
The Andrew Dominik-directed movie depicts the troubled actress, who died of an overdose at the age of 36 in 1962, having two illegal abortions against her will and includes a scene with CGI foetuses. One of them asks her: “You won’t hurt me this time, will you?”
Ms Caren Spruch, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s national director of arts and entertainment engagement, told entertainment portal The Hollywood Reporter last week: “As film and TV shapes many people’s understanding of sexual and reproductive health, it’s critical these depictions accurately portray women’s real decisions and experiences.
“While abortion is safe, essential health care, anti-abortion zealots have long contributed to abortion stigma by using medically inaccurate descriptions of foetuses and pregnancy. Andrew Dominik’s new film, Blonde, bolsters their message with a CGI-talking foetus, depicted to look like a fully formed baby.”
She noted that while Planned Parenthood respects artistic licence and freedom, “false images only serve to reinforce misinformation and perpetuate stigma around sexual and reproductive health care”.
She added: “It is a shame that the creators of Blonde chose to contribute to anti-abortion propaganda and stigmatise people’s health care decisions instead.”
In an earlier interview with entertainment magazine The Wrap last Tuesday, Dominik, whose film received a 14-minute standing ovation when it screened at the Venice Film Festival last month, addressed criticism that it was anti-abortion.
“What the movie is saying is she’s not seeing reality. She’s seeing her own fears and desires projected onto the world around her,” he said, adding that critics were viewing it through the lens of the current political and cultural climate.
“But, I mean, no one would have given a s*** about that if I’d made the movie in 2008 and probably no one’s going to care about it in four years’ time.”