60 years after her untimely death, Marilyn Monroe continues to be one of the most iconic women of her generation.
Most of us know at least a little about her story. But for some fans, her legacy is something they take very seriously, and it must be protected at all costs.
So it comes as no surprise that after Netflix dropped the trailer (below) for the upcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, fans had *a lot* of feelings.
While most media coverage surrounding the trailer has been relatively positive, reactions from fans are a lot more mixed.
Search for Blonde on social sites like Twitter and Reddit and you’ll find a wide range of emotions. There’s a portion of fans sharing their excitement for the movie, particularly for Ana de Armas’ portrayal of Monroe, and another segment seeming utterly disgusted by the whole thing.
“Phenomenal casting, and what a well-put-together trailer! I hope they do her story justice. Can’t wait to see it!”
However, another wrote,
“This movie is only adding to the one-dimensional image the general public may already have of Marilyn (unhinged, out of control, sex bomb.). Where’s the warmth? The complexity? The fine balance between sexiness and sweetness and innocence? All I see is a sex symbol screaming and having a breakdown. I hope I’m proven wrong.”
So, what gives? Why are some fans having such a strong reaction to the film’s trailer?
For the fans who hate the idea of this movie, the contention seems to derive from the fact that Blonde is being marketed as a “biopic”, but is actually an adaptation of the novel Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, a work of fiction. It weaves together some of the truths of Monroe’s life as a sex symbol and Hollywood star with a lot of completely made-up drama that is good for selling books— including a tasteless fictional rape scene.
Essentially, devoted fans are pissed off because this is not at all reflective of Monroe’s true story yet that information doesn’t seem to be widely advertised. And, when the movie’s inspiration is mentioned, its fictional plot is rarely made clear.
One fan on Reddit said,
“This is pure fiction, but I feel this will taint people’s perception of Marilyn and that a lot of people will take things as fact because there are not going to be onscreen captions telling us what is fact or fiction … This just seems like another indignity put upon Marilyn and even worse because she isn’t here to give approval.”
It doesn’t help that all of this fan negativity comes just a few months after Kim Kardashian was slammed for wearing one of Monroe’s iconic dresses to the 2022 Met Gala. Not only were people extremely upset that Kim wore the dress at all, but they also accused her of damaging the dress with alterations (which Kim denies).
Between the reactions to these two events, it’s safe to say that loyal fans of Monroe want to keep her memory truthful and her legacy intact. They’re not here for the romanticization of the icon based on false memories and fictional, salacious drama. They want to remind us that, above all, Marilyn Monroe was a human being and she deserves to be treated like one.
Blonde premieres on Netflix on September 28, 2022.