Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why, Anna Faris, Why?: An Open Letter

Possible trigger warning...

Dear Anna Faris,

You had me at House Bunny.  

I hadn't really known you before that.  I watched HB with low expectations.  Maybe She's All That times ten, with lap dances.   And while the script wasn't exactly innovative,  your seemingly effortless comedic artistry carried the show.   You acted in circles around Tom Hanks Jr.  You spoke in a gremlin voice.  You won me over.

Which is why I was elated to hear that you'd be in Observe and Report and brokenhearted upon seeing the trailer.  Specifically- the scene where your character gets raped, one of the many "hilarious" moments highlighted in the preview.  (Quick clarification for readers: To have sex without consent is rape.  Someone cannot give consent while under heavy intoxication.  Ergo, having sex with a passed out person is raping them.  Everybody clear?)

Yes, I've read the interviews.  I know you thought the scene wouldn't make the final cut.  Did it ever cross your mind that it might and what the repercussions might be?  Did you think of the sexual violence survivors who might see their own traumatic experiences turned into a punchline?  Did you think of the young people who will list this scene as an example of why it's okay to have sex with wasted people?  

Seth Rogen's been taking a lot of heat over this.  I haven't seen you blamed once yet, and while I know you didn't write it, direct it or edit it, you did agree to shoot this scene and you're partially responsible for its existence.   (I know, there's an eerie victim-blaming echo to these words.  But you were not a victim.  You were an accomplice in a terrible scene.)

Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The public controversy currently raised by Observe and Report is a fantastic opportunity for you, Rogen, and director Jody Hill to speak out against sexual violence.   It would be a great time to clarify your views on assault and educate the public on the importance of consent.  

This isn't about being politically correct.  This is about addressing a social epidemic rooted in a culture that doesn't take rape seriously.   Actions taken now could prevent sexual assaults in the future.  Please do something.

With respect,

Caitlin Rogers
Executive Editor, Wisecrack

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