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Why did Emily Ratajkowski criticise Marilyn Monroe biopic, ‘Blonde’?

The Netflix original film courted controversy with a series on fictionalised scenes, claiming that it provides a “distillation” of the actress’ life.

Emily Ratajkowski criticises Marilyn Monroe biopic, ‘Blonde’
JP YimGetty Images

Andrew Dominik’s new film ‘Blonde’ offers a fictionalised account of the life of Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood icon who would become emblematic of the sexual revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. The movie is based on a 1991 novel by Joyce Carol Oates, which portrays a dramatized version of Monroe’s life.

The movie has already proven to be extremely controversial due to the explicit sexual nature of some scenes and the violence depicted in the fictionalised events. The film was given a rare NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the first given to a Netflix original product.

Netflix describes the film as a “portrait” of Monroe’s life that “boldly reimagines the tumultuous private life of the Hollywood legend – and the price she paid for fame”.

However one of many dissenting voices is model, actress and activist Emily Ratajkowski, who accused the new biopic of “fetishising female pain.”


So done with the fetishization of female pain and suffering. Bitch Era 2022

♬ original sound - Emrata

In a TikTok post, Ratajkowski said: “I’m not surprised to hear that it’s yet another movie fetishising female pain, even in death.”

We love to fetishise female pain … We obsess over dead girls and serial killers”, the 31-year-old said. “As women – I mean, I can say for myself for sure – but I’ve learned how to fetishise my own pain and my own hurt in my life”.

“So I have a proposal. I think we all need to be a little more pissed off,” she continued. “2022, baby, is my bitch era. I think we should all be in our bitch era.”

‘Blonde’ courts controversy with fictionalised scenes

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year to favourable reviews, but after its release on Netflix last month the graphic nature of the portrayal received criticism. Oates’ original novel is described as a “distillation” of the actress’ life.

Portraying the life of one of the most influential figures in Hollywood in less than three hours means that some shortcuts will have to be taken, but critics have argued that the movies created a caricatured version of Monroe’s life that focused too much on her suffering.

The movies includes depictions of sexual assault and an abortion that are not known to have happened. The film’s creators have argued that the plot is crafted to tell Monroe’s life story effectively, but some elements do stretch that claim.


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