After making its Netflix debut on Sept. 28, Andrew Dominick’s “Blonde” has received an intense wave of criticism among viewers for several reasons, largely centering on its depiction and fictionalization of Marilyn Monroe’s life, which has been described as “exploitative.” Now Planned Parenthood has released a statement against the film, alleging it contributes to “anti-abortion propaganda.”
In the film, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same title, Monroe (played by Ana de Armas) is seen being forced to go through two illegal abortions, both of which leave a lasting scar on the Hollywood star. One scene in particular shows Monroe talking to a photoreal CGI version of her unborn fetus, which sympathetically questions her about its own fate asking, “You won’t hurt me this time, will you?”
With the film industry taking a deeper look at its depictions of abortion in light of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, Planned Parenthood’s national director of arts and entertainment engagement Caren Spruch chimed in on the conversation, calling its portrayal potentially harmful.
“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 fetuses and pregnancy,” Spruch said in a statement shared with Variety. “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 added. “We still have much work to do 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.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported Planned Parenthood’s statement.