The Netflix movie Marilyn Monroe starring Ana de Armas received a second bad review from the abortion rights group. It stated that the filmmakers had chosen to “stigmatize people’s health care decisions”.
Andrew Dominik’s Blonde is a Marilyn Monroe biopic that stars Ana de Armas. It premiered at Venice Film Festival on Sept. 8, and was released on Netflix on Sept. 28. The movie’s portrayal of Monroe’s life has been called cruel and exploitative by film critics.
One of the criticisms has been the way Blonde handles abortion. Monroe is shown in the film as having suffered two illegal abortions that were forced upon her without her consent and which she resents. The film features Monroe’s fetuses talking to her via photoreal CGI. Monroe asks a fetus, “You won’t harm me this time,”
Three months after the Supreme Court ruled against Roe. Wade, Blonde is here as many in the entertainment industry have been pondering their roles in how abortion is understood by the public.
Blonde, according to abortion rights activists, is a step in the wrong direction. “Film and TV influence many people’s understanding of reproductive health and sexuality, so it’s important these depictions accurately represent women’s actual decisions and experiences,” Caren Such, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s director of arts, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Abortion is safe and essential health care. But anti-abortion zealots used inaccurate medical descriptions of fetuses. Andrew Dominik’s Blonde film reinforces their message. It features a CGI-talking fetus that looks like a fully-formed baby.
Spruch continued, saying that Planned Parenthood respected artistic freedom and license. False images can only reinforce misinformation and perpetuate the stigma surrounding sexual and reproductive health care. The media should portray every pregnancy outcome, especially abortion, with respect and authenticity. There is still much to be done to make sure that every person who has had an abortion can see them onscreen. It’s a shame that Blonde creators chose to promote anti-abortion propaganda instead of stigmatizing people’s decisions about their health care.
Dominik stated in an interview that he does not see the movie to be anti-choice. This perception stems partly from its release so soon following the repeal of Roe. He said that people are concerned about losing their freedoms. “But, I mean that no one would have given any shit about this if I made the movie in 2008. And probably no one will care about it in four years’ time. The movie will not have changed. It’s what’s kind of going on.”