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Blonde Director Denies Rumor About NC-17 Marilyn Monroe Scene, But Defends The Netflix Rating

Ana de Armas reenacts Marilyn Monroe's skirt flutter with a crowd in Blonde.
(Image credit: Netflix)

One of the biggest controversies of Andrew Dominik’s latest Netflix film Blonde was that it received an NC-17 rating. A strong adult rating like this can prohibit the number of theaters that will book the page-to-screen adaptation that recreates iconic Marilyn Monroe moments. While the Mindhunter director has defended the NC-17 rating, he’s denied the rumor about a particularly graphic scene in the movie.

According to Screen Daily, there were rumors in the summer of 2021 that Netflix was unhappy with the film’s controversial elements like a scene featuring bloody menstrual oral sex. Blonde’s director Andrew Dominik has denied this outrageous rumor and actually finds it “hilarious.” There is, however, a sexual assault scene that comes from Joyce Carol Oates' book that the film is based off of. The New Zealand-born Australian director does not seem to care what audiences think about the film’s strong rating as there’s something in it to offend everyone.

It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office. It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.

The reason for Blonde’s NC-17 rating was because of “some sexual content.” In the past, Dominik was surprised over the film’s mature rating as this can limit the advertising mediums of your film and that “politics” had something to do with the rating. He believes it's because Marilyn Monroe’s sex symbol status brought on the rating instead of the content itself. He’s even said to Screen Daily that HBO’s Euphoria has more graphic content than anything Blonde has. 

Andrew Dominik has thanked Netflix for supporting Blonde despite its NC-17 rating. While it might not be Netflix’s favorite part about streaming the movie, it’s because of the hit streaming service that a wide range of streamers will have access to the movie. Just like Blonde author Joyce Carol Oates, Dominik believes one thing audiences will not complain about is the performance of Cuban actress Ana de Armas. While there was another wild rumor that a lot of her lines had to be dubbed due to her strong Cuban dialect, there was “work involved” to help de Armas sound more like Marilyn Monroe. The 54-year-old director believes this actress “can do anything” and has “more speeds than anyone else.”

Blonde was hoping to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival but was unable to do so considering the festival’s rule is for all films in the competition to have a full theatrical release in France. Netflix reportedly made an offer for the film to be released for eight months in theaters so it can be submitted to Cannes, but the French government turned down that offer. But, don’t feel too bad as Blonde will have its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. We’ll be anxious to know what honors the psychological drama will leave with. 

So when you watch Blonde, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see any graphic menstrual cunnilingus scenes. You can see for yourself the real reasons why the upcoming streaming film has an NC-17 rating on your Netflix subscription on September 28th.

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.