Andrew Dominick’s “Blonde” was released on Netflix on September 28. Since then, it has been heavily criticized by viewers for a number of reasons, most of which have to do with how it fictionalizes and portrays Marilyn Monroe’s life, which has been called “exploitative.” Now, Planned Parenthood has come out against the film, saying it contributes to “anti-abortion propaganda.”
In the movie, which is based on Joyce Carol Oates’s novel of the same name, Monroe (played by Ana de Armas) is forced to have two illegal abortions, both of which leave her with permanent scars. In one scene, Monroe talks to a photorealistic CGI version of her unborn child, who asks her, “You won’t hurt me this time, will you? ”
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, the movie industry has been taking a closer look at how it shows abortion. Caren Spruch, the national director of arts and entertainment engagement for Planned Parenthood, joined the conversation and said that the way abortion is shown in movies could be harmful.
“As film and TV shapes many people’s understanding of sexual and reproductive health, these depictions must 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 fetuses and pregnancy,” In a statement that was given to Variety, Spruch said.“Andrew Dominik’s new film, ‘Blonde,’ bolsters their message with a CGI-talking fetus, depicted to look like a fully-formed baby.”
“Planned Parenthood respects artistic license and freedom, however, false images only serve to reinforce misinformation and perpetuate stigma around sexual and reproductive health care. Every pregnancy outcome — especially abortion — should be portrayed sensitively, authentically, and accurately in the media,” Spruch also stated “We still have much work to do to ensure that everyone who has an abortion can see themselves onscreen. It is a shame that the creators of ‘Blonde’ chose to contribute to anti-abortion propaganda and stigmatize people’s health care decisions instead.”