The Ridiculous Orphan Controversy

We’re getting closer to a point in life where pretty soon we won’t be able to say anything to anyone without running the risk of offending them. Every movie will have to be about cupcakes and strawberries except, even then, you’ll find some whacked-out percentage of the population who harbor deep-seated fears for confectionery treats and garden fruits. Am I exaggerating? I don’t believe so, but read on for the absurd controversy surrounding the Warner Bros. horror flick Orphan.

THR caught wind that adoption communities around the country are standing firm against Orphan, worried that the film will provoke real-life resentment toward real-life orphans.

“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. And what’s worse, Warner Bros. is considering the addition of a pro-adoption message at the end of the film when it hits DVD. Seriously?

Have we in this country lost our fucking minds!? When we pander to groups like this, it only pours fuel on other fires. And what’s next? How long until the powers-that-be decide that this genre in general is “offensive”? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s a sorry state of affairs when people can’t accept entertainment as precisely that.

Look for Orphan in theatres, July 24th.

Orphan opens July 24th, 2009 (click for larger image)


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Matt Serafini

Author (Under the Blade, Feral), slasher movie enthusiast, N7 Operative. Plays games, watches movies, reads books. Occasionally writes about them.

  • Mara

    The whining adoptive parents need to get over themselves. News flash: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

    Hey, “Orphan”, wanna talk about making money? Children around the world, especially in the U.S. are SOLD to selfish, childless idiots every single day.

    • IkeCarr

      Actually, “Problem Child” did draw some complaints from adoptive agencies. One for fear of scaring off potential adoptive parents to children by showing the ordeal they could be put through. The other, was some of the negative terms used to describe the kids. The term “second hand kid” was deleted, and replaced with “someone else’s kid” for the TV version. Also a scene where the evil little whippersnapper was being teased at a birthday party by other kids for being adopted. “Mighty Aphrodite” was also the target of adoption agencies over the fact the kid Woody Allen’s character adopted was the son of a prostitute. So when I read this bit of news about “The Orphan” showed up, I was wondering what took it so long after the first ad aired.

    • orphan

      Yeah, adoptive parents are really selfish, Mara! Most take their life savings to adopt children, love, educate, and provide for them in every possible way! Just because you obviously had adoptive parents who mistreated you does not mean that most adoptive children feel that way. Please do not project that on to the entire adoptive community. It is not adoptive parents’ fault that your biological parents gave you up. Quit blaming others for your problems! Would you have liked to have been left destitute instead of being adopted? It certainly sounds like it! Your bitterness speaks of some very serious issues that require professional attention!

  • Morgan Elektra

    Frankly, anyone who’s so fucking stupid that they decide against adopting a child because of a MOVIE shouldn’t be allowed to raise any children anyway.

  • DavidFullam

    Where were all these angry folks when the “Problem Child” movies came out?

  • Raider Redux

    The line in the movie comes from the orphan herself. Are these people trying to tell us that adopted children NEVER think something like that? That it never crosses their mind? Children are far more complex than these pinheads give them credit for.

    One of our friends adopted a child when he was a baby and have raised him for six years. Then, one day, the kid asks them point blank — “Instead of adopting me, why didn’t you just give the money to my mother so she could keep me?” Pretty deep and complex thought for a six-year-old.

  • Mara

    A lot of adoptive parents are angry about one line in this film: It must be hard to love an adopted child like your own.

    They are angry about this movie line but are perfectly content that their adopted child has a birth certificate that was permanently sealed from him/her and a falsified “amended” one issued.

    Adoptees have to live their lives carrying around amended birth certificates and are NEVER allowed to see their original birth certificates containing their true names and the names of his/her true biological parents. Adopting parents get to have their names placed on the amended certificates as the birth parents! What lies!!!! These violations of a childs rights does not concern the protestors because it works for them! It is not their ethnicities, their heritages that are sealed. No, their newly purchased child will be forced to accept these lies are his/her truth. These self-righteous people own the copyrights to their adopted child’s identity and could care less that it’s FICTION that is on their child’s birth certificate.

    It is downright disgraceful and pathetic what people choose to protest.

    I’m wearing my Orphan movie t-shirts on opening day: http://www.cafepress.com/orphanesther because getting angry over one-liners and not giving a hoot about our (adoptees) civil rights is laughable.

    Please support Esther by signing this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/orphan-movie-t-shirts-for-open-records because no one should have to kill for their birth certificate.

    • orphan

      Do you copy and paste these same ridiculous comments all over the internet?

      • Mara

        As much as possible. It’s a hobby. LMAO.

        • The Woman In Black

          And I for one am thankful that you do. My mom’s adopted and has gone through hell trying to find out about her birth parents.

  • orphan

    If it’s so ridiculous, then why not victimize other minorities, who have no control over their circumstances? Blacks, gays, the physically or mentally handicapped? “Fag”, the movie…how does that sound? or what about “Nigg..” the movie? anyone? Not so appealing anymore is it? I think the real problem is that WB chose to title the movie “Orphan” and play into the stereotypes, instead of simply naming it, say “Esther”, which would have offended far less people and been less damaging to the adoptive community. But, whatever they have to do for a buck, right? And as far as the American public being bright enough to differentiate reality from a movie? I don’t put too much faith in that. Look how many years George Bush was in office, and then let’s ponder the intelligence of the average American!

    • Sirand

      So you think we should sugar-coat everything because the general public is too stupid to grasp major differences between fact and fiction? Sure, that’ll solve all our problems…

      For the record, your hypothetical arguement is pretty trite. “Orphan” is an actual word, not a slang or a slight for a minority. By that logic, we should retitle “The Children” into “Prepubescent Psychos” so the general public doesn’t think all children are homicidal maniacs.

      And furthermore, why would YOU “play into stereotypes” by adopting the username “orphan?” That kind of defeats your whole argument.

      • orphan

        Okay, for the sake of a more politically correct argument, let’s compare a horror movie named, “Autistic” or “Black” or “Jew” or “Homosexual”. I cannot imagine movies with those titles would not illicit uprisings a hundred fold!

        And, BTW, I did not “adopt” the username “orphan” to “play into stereotypes”. I AM an orphan!

      • orphan

        And, no I do not think we should “sugar coat everything” – to the contrary. I think we should tell the truth about the real horror of the millions of orphans worldwide who are living without families. Let’s tell the truth of their story – of those children, who cannot speak for themselves. Why is that any less important than lining the pockets of oportunistic Warner Brothers executives? Why do Americans continue to serve as their bitches, making them richer, while these helpless children suffer more? If this movie causes one orphan to spend one more unnecessary day in an orphanage, it is simply not worth it!

  • rexhonk

    Orphans stole my baby…

    Seriously, this is fucked up.

  • Rorschach

    I think people are missing the really stupid thing about this… WB is going to put a disclaimer on it when it hits DVD? What kind of half assed concession is that? Why make a concession at all then? I mean, it’s just fine to run this film in theaters without a disclaimer…theaters where we WANT everyone to go see the film. Then, once everyone already HAS seen it, we’ll put a message from Madonna and Angelina Jolie on the tail end of the film where no one will see it.

    LOL @ that.


    I know how the studios feel…
    I haven’t trusted the wind since M. NIGHT’S The Happening.. damn scary wind.

  • Permafrost

    I was raped by orphans once.

    The fear is justified.

  • Sirand

    I’m gonna start boycotting orphans. I hate those little parentless bastards! They think they’ve got it so good without their moms and dads… We’ll show em! Who’s with me?!?!

  • PelusaMG

    This just makes me mad!

  • CMax

    It’s about time movie studios start putting disclaimers on their “entertainment”. I still haven’t trusted my garden since “The Ruins”!

    Fucking idiots. Can we just start getting offended that everyone else is getting offended at everything?

  • Raider Redux

    Somebody, somewhere is always just waiting to be offended. Like a harmless cyst that transforms into cancer, Political Correctness has turned into censorship and created the Speech Police. This is the price we pay for bowing to special interest groups, etc.

    Everyone needs to grow the f*ck up and get over themselves. There is nothing sooo special about you that you should be treated better than anyone else.

    • thedarkestshadow

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself Raider