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Diablo Cody Wants To Set The Record Straight About Juno In Light Of Roe V Wade Being Overturned

elliot page juno
(Image credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Academy Award winning screenwriter Diablo Cody isn’t one to comment on her own projects very often. She’s mostly put her work out there and let people interpret it however they might, but when it comes to her most famous movie, Juno, she’s ready to push back against one false narrative. Since the film’s release in 2007, which follows a teenage girl who gets pregnant and wrestles with what to do, many have either criticized or celebrated the movie for being anti-choice. She would like to make it clear, like others in Hollywood have after the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe V Wade, that she is pro choice and did not write the movie intending for it to come across as anything else.

The writer sat with The Hollywood Reporter for a lengthy interview about the film and how it’s been interpreted over the years. During the chat, Diablo Cody said she “wasn’t super cognizant” of the conversation around the film when it first came out because she was adjusting to the realities of suddenly becoming a celebrity, but she’s now much more aware of what people took out of the movie. She also understands why people may take things out of it she didn’t intend. Here’s a portion of her quote…

I don’t comment on my own movies very often — but I am emphatically pro-choice and have been my entire life. And it is important to me to make that clear. But, you know, I can understand why people would misunderstand the movie. Looking back at it, I can see how it could be perceived as anti-choice. And that horrifies me… Back in 2008, I got a letter from some administrator at my Catholic high school thanking me for writing a movie that was in line with the school’s values. And I was like: “What have I done?” My objective as an artist is to be a traitor to that culture, not to uplift it.

Interestingly, Cody says most of the criticism she’s heard from younger people/ Gen Z hasn’t had anything to do with the abortion storyline in Juno at all. Instead, it has been largely concentrated around the “ethics of private adoption.” In the film, Juno comes from a family that is largely supportive and at least means well, but not everyone who gets pregnant at a vulnerable age has such a network.

There have apparently been a lot of TikToks discussing that portrayal, which some arguing many who give their children up for private adoptions are “coerced.” You can read some of Cody’s thoughts on that below…

Interestingly, the strongest criticism that I’ve seen of the film from Gen Z on social media has nothing to do with the abortion storyline, it’s actually a pretty lively debate around the ethics of private adoption. Most teenage birthing people don’t have a story like Juno where they have tons of family support and, you know, Allison Janney [Juno’s stepmother in the film] has their back. They don’t have the option of parenting their baby even if they want to, so a lot of them feel coerced. That’s a debate that I’ve seen on TikTok, and I think it’s a very worthy conversation to have.

In addition to Juno, Diablo Cody has written a variety of other projects including the acclaimed films Young Adult and the extremely interesting Tully. She also created the Showtime comedy The United States Of Tara and wrote the forever fun Jennifer's Body. She’s currently involved in four upcoming projects including a Madonna biopic and a movie about a high school girl who accidentally reanimates a corpse using a broken tanning bed. It's called Lisa Frankenstein. It has its own website, and I want to see it.

Mack Rawden
Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.