The 2007 Oscar-winning movie “Juno” famously featured a pregnant teenage girl (Juno MacGuff) visiting an abortion clinic and then deciding to keep her baby after a pro-life activist tells her it has “fingernails.” Eventually, Juno (played by Ellen Page) gives the baby up for adoption. The baby survives and Juno goes on to enjoy her teen years.
Screenwriter Diablo Cody won an Academy Award for her light-hearted depiction of teen pregnancy in which the hero elects to give the baby a second chance at life. Today, however, in light of the anti-abortion bills in Georgia and Alabama, Diablo Cody wishes she had done differently, reports HuffPost.
Speaking with the Crooked Media podcast “Keep It!” last Wednesday, Cody says she may not have written “Juno” if she believed it would encourage pro-life activism.
“I don’t even know if I would have written a movie like ‘Juno’ if I had known that the world was going to spiral into this hellish alternate reality that we now seem to be stuck in,” Diablo Cody told the hosts.
When co-host Kara Brown asked the screenwriter if she would have Juno get an abortion if she were to “rewrite the film tomorrow,” Cody responded, “I think I probably would have just told a different story in general.”
Every single Diablo Cody movie since “Juno” has been a critical and financial dud. From “Jennifer’s Body” to “Young Adult” to “Ricki and the Flash” to “Tully.” Also, Hollywood tried to create a pro-abortion alternative to “Juno” (2014’s “Obvious Child”) and it completely tanked, despite universal praise from agenda-driven movie critics.
In the same interview on Crooked Media, Cody described herself as being “as pro-choice as a person can possibly be” and admitted that she wrote “Juno” without considering any of the political consequences because she did not even think it would get made. In other words, she functioned as an actual artist rather than a political propagandist, which translated into a fairly truthful movie. She even recalls “the most horrifying” response she received from it at the time: when officials at her Catholic high school sent her a letter “thanking me for writing a pro-life movie.”
“I was like, ‘I f***ing hate all of you,'” Diablo Cody said in response to the letter she received.
Since Georgia and Alabama instituted anti-abortion laws, Diablo Cody says the film’s potential cultural impact has been distressing for her. “It’s honestly something that I’ve been thinking about kind of continuously, like, in an endless dark feedback loop,” Cody said. “It sucks so f**ing bad.”
“It’s been heartening to observe that people are fired up about it,” she added. “I wish more guys were.”
As noted by HuffPost, the makers of “Juno” have been doing everything in their power to prevent the movie from becoming a pro-life classic. In 2017, director Jason Reitman actually organized a live-reading of the screenplay to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
“In a way I feel like I had a responsibility to maybe be more explicitly pro-choice, and I wasn’t,” Cody said at the event, according to Vanity Fair. “Something that’s disturbed me over the years is people perceiving ‘Juno’ as an anti-choice movie.”