By David Crary
America's adoption community has expressed dismay over the horror movie “Orphan,” which its critics say will fuel negative attitudes toward real-life orphans.
Some adoption advocates are urging a boycott of the movie. A coalition of prominent national adoption and foster care groups, while not joining the boycott call, has asked for a meeting with Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer to discuss their concerns.
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“We are concerned that in addition to its intended entertainment value, this film will have the unintended effect of skewing public opinion against children awaiting families both in the United States and abroad,” said a letter to Meyer from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Warner Bros. said it has taken the concerns seriously. Spokesman Scott Rowe said the company is considering adding a pro-adoption message at the end of the film when it comes out in DVD form.
Trailers for the film, shown nationwide for two months, make the basic plot clear without revealing the twist at the end. A couple mourning the loss of an unborn baby decide to adopt a girl from a local orphanage – and their hopes for happiness give way to unease and fear as the new family member turns out to be far different from what they expected.
The trailer itself prompted outrage from many adoption advocates and adoptive families, and Warner Bros. responded by removing a much-criticized line from it in which the orphan, Esther, says, “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own.”