Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody said she probably would not have written her 2007 film Juno in today’s political environment with states like Alabama and Georgia enacting pro-life legislation restricting abortion.
“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,” Cody told Crooked Media’s Keep It! podcast.
The film, starring Ellen Page in the title role, tells the story of a pregnant high school student who decides not to have an abortion and instead allows a young couple to adopt her baby.
Keep It! podcast’s Kara Brown asked Cody if the pregnant teen “would go to Atlanta and get an abortion” if the film were written today.
“I think I probably would have just told a different story in general,” Cody replied, explaining that when she wrote the screenplay, “I wasn‘t thinking as an activist; I wasn’t thinking politically at all.”
Cody, who claims to be “as pro-choice as a person can possibly be,” is dismayed that her Academy Award winning screenplay has been heralded for its pro-life message.
She said she found it “most horrifying” when she got “a letter from my Catholic high school thanking me for writing a pro-life movie. And I was like, ‘I fucking hate all of you.’”
Juno’s director, Jason Reitman, has similarly expressed disgust at the film’s embrace by the pro-life movement.
In April 2017, Reitman staged an all-female live-reading of Juno to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
“If there was any confusion about whether Juno was pro-choice or pro-life, this should settle that,” Reitman told EW at the time.
Cody, who also attended the event, told Vanity Fair at the time, “In a way I feel like I had a responsibility to maybe be more explicitly pro-choice, and I wasn’t.”
“Something that’s disturbed me over the years is people perceiving Juno as an anti-choice movie,” she added.