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Orphan Movie Boycott

Because politicians don’t have more pressing matters

orphan-movie-controversy-500x743A bunch of people have their knickers in a knot over Warner Brothers new movie Orphan. Members of the Senate and House have issued a letter to Warner Brothers Chairman and CEO Barry M. Meyer expressing their concerns about the upcoming movie and its negative implications on the orphans and foster children worldwide waiting to be adopted.

“While we understand the movie may be intended as a far-fetched thriller, its trailer contains images and messages about adopted youth that are inaccurate,” the politicians wrote in a letter obtained by The DC Examiner.

“…While these children often come from troubled families, they have the ability to form healthy relationships, achieve in school and succeed in life when given the opportunity. Having met with hundreds of these young people as part of our advocacy for change, we can personally attest to how incredibly strong, loving, and promising they each are.”

Dr. Jane Aronson, a pediatrician and CEO of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation feels the same. Dr. Aronson wants to “encouraging moviegoers to boycott the film to send a strong message to studio executives that they cannot make money off of orphans and vulnerable children.”

I guess I just don’t see what the big deal is. If the only reason some people aren’t adopting orphans and foster kids is because they are afraid they will get a demonic child, then maybe the kids are better off where they are. Do we really want people who believe that this movie and movies like it are documentaries about adoption?

Why are politicians even weighing in on this? Where were the politicians when The Money Pit gave remodelling houses a bad name? Where were the politicians when people began fearing potential roommates because of  Single White Female? Where were the politicians when the inner city rec center was going to be torn down by the evil white developer and unlikely groups of kids had to band together and save it through the power of dance?


July 24, 2009 - Posted by | Culture Critic, News You May or May Not Use | , ,


  1. i’m adopted and i’d say this movie is dead on. you should see the makeshift burial ground that is my backyard…

    Comment by stopthemadness | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. Have they seen the film? I haven’t, but I read spoilers. Trust me, the image of orphans is safe–Oliver Twisty and in tact.

    Unless they are gingers. Problem Child pretty much made sure no ginger would ever be adopted again…

    Comment by TheHobo | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. TheHobo: Looks like brunette is the new ginger.

    I seriously think that this has to be studio generated BS or people are just plain old batshit crazy. If you can’t have children of your own and you allow a horror movie to formulate your opinion on adoption, then I’m gonna have to go with “there is a god.”

    Comment by oneofthevoicesinmyhead | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. Okay, admittedly not having seen the movie but being adopted, having a mess of an adopted sister, having gone through WA state’s mandated parenting of foster/adopted kids training and having recently adopted myself…I’d say yes, there is an awful lot of irrational fear out there and yes, some of it is keeping otherwise caring people from extending a welcome to a child that needs it.

    All that said, I believe there was also some crack-job 20/20 episode (or some other “journalistic” program) that did far worse damage than a horror movie could. I had people who were considering adoption/foster parenting call/email me asking about my experiences because the information they received on Attachment Disorder was so disturbing. Don’t get me wrong, Attachment Disorder is very real, very difficult and very disturbing. It also doesn’t even begin to typify the incredibly varied adoption experience.

    There are all too many children, particularly children over the age of 3, who are living horror stories of their own. I say anything that even remotely makes the situation for them to find adults OR peers who will love and care for them more difficult than it already is; is just not worth making.

    Here’s a scary story, and sadly open to many sequels that would be more appropriate: baby is born to poor mother who becomes a meth addict, grows to 5 or 6 before anyone intervenes, enters foster care system, gets ridiculed by other children, fails in school, begins to have fantasies (both of evil and of good), magical realism abounds…you can make this much scarier but frankly even as I write I hesitate to tell some of the horror stories I have known children to endure. And then, voila, they turn 18 and the story’s over, right? Can you imagine what your life had been like if, when you had turned 18 you were out on the street and on your own?

    All I’m saying is there IS a horror story here, just tell it from the child’s perspective rather than the cozy, comfortable, empowered adoptive parent’s perspective.

    Rant concluded.

    Comment by Rev. Random | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. i’ll tell you what the fuck is wrong with esther (and this has been bothering me for quite sometime) homegirl’s eyebrows.

    her eyebrows are what’s wrong with her. at least on the poster. she seems to have had them under control in the movie.

    paging lourdes…

    (yes, yes, i *am* awful)

    Comment by stopthemadness | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  6. Rev. Random: Now that sounds like a story worth telling. Wait, Hollywood doesn’t do that anymore…

    Comment by TheHobo | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  7. A Newsweek article on True Blood mentions that the Orphan movie trailer says “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own.” I haven’t seen any trailers or ads for this movie (and I’m @ work with no sound card so I can’t listen to the embedded ad here), but I can see why people would take offense to that line (if it does in fact exist?). Here’s the NW article, sure to spark its own, non-Orphan related debate: http://www.newsweek.com/id/207087

    Comment by Stay, see? | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  8. Also, Rev Random, thanks for your comment. I am impatiently waiting until I am finally done with school and settled so I can begin the adoption process. I’ve been very vocal about my plans, and I’ve been shocked at some people’s negative reactions.

    Comment by Stay, see? | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  9. Rev. Random, this is why I’d like to become a foster parent. Unfortunately, we don’t have room, time or resources right now to devote to another child. (And we’ve taken steps – ok, my husband has – to ensure that we stop at two.)

    My husband and I have agreed to discuss it seriously when our kids are teens. The only thing is – I would imagine I’d get attached and then if the kid was taken back by the family/moved by the state/etc. I don’t know how I’d handle that. Right now I settle for supporting Treehouse, which is a local non-profit that helps foster children.

    Comment by SeaKat | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  10. oh hell no… if that’s actually what the tagline was, then the PR people need to be fired.

    and this coming from an orphan who HAS killed people.

    (i was adopted at 3 mos old, so don’t cry for me, argentina. cry for the dead people in my childhood backyard.)

    Comment by stopthemadness | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  11. i love the spoiler, no need to see that now! evil kids freak me out.

    Comment by lava | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  12. I downloaded and watched the movie the other day, and all I can say is, it shouldn’t be boycotted because it gives orphans a bad rap, rather it should be boycotted because it’s a horrible, horrible, train wreck of a movie. Worse than My Bloody Valentine.

    I can’t believe I managed to voice my opinion without cursing.

    Comment by Mae | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  13. mae- i am concerned that “i hate things” will now become “i somewhat dislike things.”

    Comment by DonnaMartin | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  14. OMG! The Orphan movie BROKE Mae!!!! Esther ****is**** evil!!!

    Comment by SeaKat | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  15. Ok, I just saw the note with the tagline. WTF? Whatever dumbass dreamed up that tagline needs to get his/her dumb gently caressing ASS to the Applebee’s parking lot, stat. It’s only going to hurt MORE if I have to go there.

    Comment by SeaKat | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  16. Oh, and I should mention that adopting my son is the most amazing, positive thing I’ve done in a long time. True and pure joy. He only occasionally reminds me of a velociraptor but I understand that’s normal at 16 months…

    Comment by Rev. Random | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  17. Instead of complaining about his movie, why don’t politicians start making it easier for people in America to adopt American children? What the fuck is up with all this red tape and insanely high costs when there are a TON of children in foster care who need good homes now? Many people don’t adopt (my parent included) because they could afford to raise a child, they just couldn’t afford the nearly $50K it would take with all the nonsense to adopt a child. It’s pathetic.

    When I lived in Korea there was a program for Soldiers who wanted to fly home on the cheap; we would agree to take an adoptive child from an orphanage in Korea to thier new adoptive parents in the states. The plane ticket was practically free and you just had to tend to the baby for a 12 hours or so. So many people were adopting from overseas because despite the child being from a foreign country, the adoptive process was much quicker and MUCH cheaper.

    Comment by blah | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  18. i agree blah it’s heart breaking what adoptive parents have to go through here. and it makes no sense! there are so many kids out there having kids and no one gave them permission, they should be the ones paying $50K.

    ohhhh what we should do right, is we should implant all infant boys and girls with baby IUDs right… then when they want to have kids right… they can pay to have them removed! i’m a genius… what were we talking about again?

    Comment by lava | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  19. lava, I’m totally for that solution. Oh, also – maybe you don’t have to PAY to have the IUD removed. Maybe you have to pass psychological tests. And a common sense test. And an emotional maturity test. Yes, I think we have the beginnings of a plan, here…

    Comment by SeaKat | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  20. Agreed. If people had to pass an “I Have My Priorities Straight” test before having children, the world would be a far far better place.

    Comment by shu_shu | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  21. Uh…okay folks, let’s not get on the Hitler band wagon. Things are bad and frustrating to be sure but much of the problems around foster parenting, adoption and birth control are also intricately interwoven with racism and classism. So…I wouldn’t be too quick to jump on the sterilization band wagon. It’s been tried. Check out the hidden history of sterilization programs done under the guise of “birth control” in poor communities of color. Also consider that the history of adoption is really for the benefit of wealthy barren parents or pretty much slave labor.

    Reform is most definitely needed but a Reverse Limbaugh argument still epitomizes Limbaughesqe extremism.

    Sorry to get all serious but I have a adopted sister who’s an addict – born to an addict, a birth mom who had all the support and choices (mine) and a birth mom who desperately needs better birth control (Ben’s) but I can’t start thinking of her (Ben’s birth mom…or my sister for that matter) as these horrible idiotic people. I don’t want to raise my son (or my nephew) to think of himself as this avoidable mistake of an imperfect society.

    Now I’m going to go back the Daily Bale to refresh myself from this seriousness.

    Comment by Rev. Random | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  22. rev. random is an excellent addition to PRTS! (people’s republic of thundersquee!), methinks. not there are any non-excellent people. but there are invisible people who need to come out and play!

    three cheers! for new squeers! and old! and squeers! yet to come out of hiding!

    Comment by DonnaMartin | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  23. I thought we were just being playful. I really don’t advocate sterilization. Just want to put that out there.

    Comment by shu_shu | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  24. I figured, shu_shu but appreciate the shout out just the same. 🙂

    DonnaMartin, thanks! I ♥ Thundersqueers! And…thundersqueeing?

    Comment by Rev. Random | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  25. for the record, i didn’t think at all you were being serious, shu_shu. 🙂

    i just enjoyed rev.’s post.

    also, for the record, i think even rev. random might agree that there really are some people that should be sterilized. i just think maybe we squeers! should be the deciders re: who is or is not removed from the gene pool.

    Comment by DonnaMartin | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  26. Phew. Lol. Just making sure.

    And I agree, Ms. Martin. Rev (as well as the other new regulars) makes a fine addition to the boards!

    I figured the “edit” feechur would coax more people out of the woodwork.

    Comment by shu_shu | July 26, 2009 | Reply

  27. There are plenty of wonderful people born to immature and/or emotionally unstable parents who wouldn’t be around under my (tongue-firmly-in-cheek) proposed plan – I, too, was just kidding.

    TANGENT: Once again, we have demonstrated the reason that emoticons should NOT be considered cheesy, but instead an aide to clearer casual written communications. Of course, in formal writings they should be abhorred.

    BACK TO MAIN THREAD: I’m loving the Rev’s alternately thoughtful and hilarious comments. New squeers – come out to play, please!

    Comment by SeaKat | July 26, 2009 | Reply

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