The truth as I know it:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. ~~~ Kristi Larson

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Orphan" The Movie

I received a disturbing e-mail yesterday from a friend of mine who is a pastor and a fellow adoptive parent. First let me say that the movie industry as a whole has just started to get on my ever last nerve. I LOVE... L.O.V.E. going to the movies! Brian and I dated and spent the childless portion of our married life practically living in the cinema. I would often see a marginally interesting movie just for the popcorn, Coke and movie theater experience. So for someone like me to become largely turned off to movies is not like someone (like my dad) who could take or leave movies anyway. I'm a movie lover, but am just totally over Hollywood and their oversensitivities to certain groups while seemingly TRYING to offend others!

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 scott.rowe@warnerbros.com)
  • 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!

For more information please contact Executive Director, Nicole Dobbins, voiceforadoption@gmail.com or 202-210-8118. To visit our website: www.voice-for-adoption.org"

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....

Exodus 22:22-24

"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."

John 14:18

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

9 comments:

Lindsay said...

I'm trying to remember where I read about this film campaign already - if I remember I'll send you the link. Apparently the producers have already removed the offending line from their trailers, except the one that had gone out and they couldn't pull. They expressed sorrow at causing offense etc. and also commented apprently on the dignity of the adoption community in communicating why they found it upsetting/offensive. Apparently after they changed the release date for a Harry Potter they got death threats!!! but only polite, well expressed opinions about this. Nice to know campaigns can actually have a swift and positive effect.

This IS The Fun Part! said...

I can understand your concern - and your wish to do whatever you can to make your voice heard.

I would like to think that I speak for more than just myself when I say this . . . I am not an adoptive parent - but I admire those who are. And I would be more than happy to add my voice to yours.

Once you have done your research, post names and addresses, emails, etc. of those we should contact. I'm sure a lot of us would be standing with you on this one!

Nobody's gonna go bomb them - but we're still allowed to voice our opinions on whatever subject we choose.

Grannie

Michelle R said...

So, I have read about this on just about every list serve I am part of. My concern is that this is pretty much a B movie that has a shelf life of 2 weeks in the theater and the media attention we give it will actually help to sell tickets. WB isn't going to pull the plug and actually they would love for a great amount of controversy to surround it- someone may actually go. I support you in how you feel called to handle it. My prayer is that everyone sees it for the ridiculousness that it is and it dissappears swiftly unnoticed.

Kristine said...

I saw the previews for this as well. My husband's boss found out about this movie about a month ago and warned us about it....

Check FRUA under Family Matters...there is a link about this and there seems to be a positive response from the Movie company too.

There is also a facebook group you can join which boycotts it.

Kristine

jajbs said...

This movie absolutely disgusts me. Thanks for posting about this. I agree, with your points and think that we, as an adoptive commnunity should come together and show Warner Bros. how we feel and see if we can make a difference.

Oatsvall Team said...

i signed some petition to get this movie BANNED ...I am going to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves .... WB CAN PICK ON SOME OTHER PEOPLE GROUP, but not the Orphans ...

just let me know after you do the research on who is promoting this movie where I CAN'T SHOP OR SUPPORT ANYMORE ...

love ya

Ron and Dinia said...

I had not heard of this movie yet, but I just watched the trailer and it gave me chills. I also love movies, but this is one that I will not be seeing. I am with Gwen just let me know where I should not be shopping or supporting. This movie stinks!

Bill and Myra said...

I watched the trailer and I was MAD!! As the mother of two boys adopted at ages 9 and 8 ("older" children), I was furious. I actually wrote an email to the company and told them what it is really like to adopt "older" children. I told them that I am a huge advocate for the adoption of older children and I found it offensive to me and my children. I also told them that if they had met my boys that, they would never have even made such a movie.

Thanks for posting this. It really hit a nerve.

Myra

Like Dinia, I will also boycott any sponsors of this movie.

The Monroe 6 said...

Girrrlllllll,
I hear ya!
I have gone off on Hollywood sooo many times on my blog.
It has gotten to where I can not stand ANY of them.
I wish they would just shut up already. I DO NOT want to hear their political views.
1. It ruins my ability to like them and pretend they are some one else.
2. I don't care. Shut up and act.

Whew! I feel better.