If you haven't yet seen the proposed trailer for the movie "Orphan" (scheduled for release in July) then you should probably check it out before reading further! Here is a link http://orphan-movie.warnerbros.com/ I think it speaks for itself why this movie is a concern to parents who have already or are considering adopting. It portrays older child adoption, in particular, in a very disturbing and extreme light.
The following release is from a domestic adoption advocacy group (italicized comments are mine):
Voice for Adoption Expresses Concern About Release of Movie, “Orphan” June 8, 2009 – Voice for Adoption (VFA), an advocacy coalition of state and national organizations, is concerned about the movie “Orphan” and the negative perceptions it conveys about the 130,000 children in foster care who need permanent families.
“Orphan” is not scheduled for release until July 24, but its marketing has already raised deep concerns because it is premised on the notion that an older adopted child is profoundly troubled and it portrays negative stereotypes about the families formed with such children (“It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own,” says the adoptee in the film). Organizations dealing with adoption and foster care – along with parent and family groups and individuals around the country – are criticizing the film and its trailer as offensive and potentially undermining to children in need of families. “It has been a long time since a movie caused this much angst and worry in the adoption, foster care and orphan care communities, even before its release,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. “And I think their concerns are well-founded.” Efforts to date have resulted in a promise by movie executives for a new trailer. Scott Rowe, senior vice president of communications for Warner Brothers, admitted the company "messed up" in promotions for the film and that they will change the trailer. Possible Next Steps for adoption advocates:
- We ask that you please forward this statement to all of your networks, professional and personal.
- We also urge you to include the information in newsletters, updates, or announcements.
- Seize the opportunity of the movie’s release to portray the positive stories of successful adoptive families.
- Continue to monitor publicity for the movie to assure that changes have been made.
- Continue to contact Warner Brothers (Susan Fleishman is the Vice President of Public Affairs; Sue Kroll is President of Worldwide Marketing) to express your dismay that the movie was ever produced. (I could not find phone numbers of e-mail addresses for these two women, however, I did find a Warner Brothers spokespersons contact information: Scott RoweVice President, Corporate CommunicationsWarner Bros. Entertainment (818) 954-5806 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
- While this movie is distressing to all adoption advocates, let us try to turn the negative into a positive, i.e. a chance to focus on the wonderful families that have been formed by adoption!
Right now I happen to be reading the book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. Taking on Warner Brothers for any issue certianly seems like chasing a lion to me. I simply cannot understand, with all the horrible evils that we face in our culture today, why a company such as Warner Brothers, with such a wide audience and large voice, would want to degrade an institution such as adoption, particularly domestic, foster care, orphanage, older child adoption (which already faces such difficult stereotypes) is beyond me. Is it the degradation of all that is humane and loving in our culture that they seek? Why such liberal organizations, who profess to push for the equal rights of every citizen, would choose to portray adoption in this light is simply beyond me. Whose brilliant idea was it to make a horror movie about an orphan in the first place? There is some discussion on the matter taking place at http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/why-did-warner-bros-have-to-change-the-trailers-for-orphan. You can read what some are saying, although I warn you that some of the commenting is over-the-top stupido! Here is a link to the ABC piece on the outrcy: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=7702341&page=1.
I, for one, will be researching advertisers for the film and contacting them individually about my displeasure over the entire situation. Unfortunately, adoption, orphans, and foster care are not a "protected class" that has become so sacred to our society. You can argue with me that this is "just a movie" and that it's "fiction", but there are groups that could have been attacked to Warner Bros. total demise. And I'm going off the PC train here for a minute, so bare with me.... Can you imagine if the movie was titled "Muslim" and portrayed demented zealots running around killing Americans (oh wait, that actually happened, never mind)? What if the movie were entitled "Homo" and pictured a demented homosexual running around killing people? Wouldn't there be public outcry? Would there be ANY defense of Warner Bros. and artistic freedoms? Would there be a place to hide from that? Angelina and Madonna have made adoption vogue lately, but apparently it hasn't done as much to further the cause of the fatherless as one might hope. Please don't misunderstand me here, I am NOT advocating that anyone or any group be attacked in this fashion; I am simply pointing out that there are groups that are protected from this sort of insensitivity, and often when the adoption community rises up in defense or outcry, we are largely dismissed or marginalized. Again, we are not a "sacred" class to the liberal culture.
Okay, stepping down off my soapbox now! Resting in these promises....
"Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless."
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."