After Some Criticized Blonde For Being Anti-Abortion, The Director Fired Back With His Own Thoughts

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde, black and white scene
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix’s Blonde may be the movie many people are watching on the platform this weekend, but Ana de Armas’ transformation as Marilyn Monroe just scratches the surface of the conversation audiences are having once the credits roll. One of the many controversial elements of Andrew Dominik’s film is how it handles Monroe’s alleged abortions, as some have called it out for having an “anti-abortion” message. With this, the writer/director responded to the criticism.

Those who've been on the web lately are surely aware that Blonde has been called a lot of things. Audiences who have watched it are saying it's “misogynistic,” “sexist,” “exploitative” and “disrespectful” to the Hollywood icon, but the anti-abortion accusations have seemingly been quite frequent. When reacting to that critique, Andrew Dominik argued that the film isn't meant to demonize the practice or anyone who's had one:

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. You see it constantly time and again that she’s reacting to a story that she’s carrying inside her. And I think sort of this desire to look at ‘Blonde’ through this Roe v. Wade lens is everybody else doing the same thing. They’ve got a certain agenda where they feel like the freedoms of women are being compromised, and they look at ‘Blonde’ and they see a demon, but it’s not really about that. I think it’s very difficult for people to step outside of the stories they carry inside themselves and see things of their own volition. And I think that’s really what the movie is about. The dangers of that. But you know, it’s difficult for people to be able to hold two things in their mind at once. It’s either black or white.

While speaking to The Wrap, the filmmaker also shared that he believes the “anti-abortion” criticisms are a product of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade. In his words: 

I think the movie is pretty nuanced actually, and I think it’s very complex, but that doesn’t fit — people are obviously concerned with losses of freedoms, obviously they are. But, I mean, no one would have given a shit about that if I’d made the movie in 2008, and probably no one’s going to care about it in four years’ time. And the movie won’t have changed. It’s just what sort of going on.

In Blonde, there are graphic scenes of Ana de Armas’ Marilyn Monroe undergoing multiple forced abortions (while the real Monroe was not confirmed to have actually had any during her lifetime). In one scene, an unborn fetus pleads with Monroe not to be aborted. Andrew Dominik said he doesn’t think this would be as much of a topic if he’d made the film at a time that predates America’s recent unrest regarding abortion legislation. 

Blonde isn’t necessarily a biopic at all, as it’s moreso a fictionalized imagining of Marilyn Monroe's life. The movie is heavily rooted in Joyce Carol Oates’ equally controversial novel of the same name, which was released in 2000. Critics and audiences seem to agree on their thoughts on, with reviews of the Ana de Armas-led film also skewing rather negative

The movie is Netflix’s first NC-17 film and very much earns it with its graphic sex scenes, nudity, scenes depicting physical and emotional abuse, along with addiction and strong language. Still, it has been Netflix's No. 1 trending movie for a few days now. The film definitely seems to be stirring up some interesting conversations surrounding abortion and more and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Aside from Ana de Armas, the Blonde cast also includes Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson and Xavier Samuel. If you want to check out Andrew Dominick's polarizing movie, you can do so by picking up a Netflix subscription. Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule of upcoming movies for info on other big releases that are on the way.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.