Upcoming Linda Lovelace/Deep Throat biopic. Hmm.

The Atlantic has some very good analysis, and gives good historical context for the movie:

Rape victims sometimes describe the interrogation by police, hospital personnel, and the criminal courts as a second rape. I think that’s how Linda would respond to the sight of Seyfried performing oral sex on a popsicle (faux penis prop) positioned between Sarsgaard’s legs, and joking with Conan O’Brien on late night television about the additional “slurping noises” she recorded in the studio. Perhaps Epstein and Friedman can pull this off ethically, finding a way to tell Linda’s story without contributing to her exploitation. Maybe the Sundance audience will walk away with an understanding of rape culture, rather than just adding insult to the physical and emotional injuries she sustained. That would be a nice legacy to associate with the memory of Linda Lovelace, but don’t bet your lift ticket on it.

This paragraph, placed next to the seductive promo image of Seyfried as Lovelace, tells a compelling and problematic story of the movie’s creation and promotion. This is a Hollywood movie, being marketed to a Hollywood audience, and that audience is being promised titillation and playful sexy times, at the very least. As the Atlantic article points out, Lovelace once testified that anyone who watches Deep Throat is watching her being raped multiple times. How can they possibly market the movie with Amanda Seyfried giving simulated blowjobs on Conan, and then tell the story of a woman who was raped multiple times on camera, and then had to endure having those rapes watched and enjoyed by millions, out in public?

I’m not going to debate Rape Culture vs. Linda Syndrome with anyone – that is the reality that Linda Lovelace stood before the world and clearly stated with no ambiguity in her words. If we are decent, caring people (and if you don’t consider yourself that, please, stop reading this blog and go do whatever it is you do when you’re not doing whatever it is you’re doing here), we have to consider and respect that in how we talk about the phenomenon of Deep Throat, and those who were involved in its creation.

From the perspective of Linda Lovelace, what Seyfried and Skarsgard were gigglingly simulating on Conan was oral rape, not oral sex. One cannot help but wonder just how different this movie would look if she was alive.

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