A well-known pro-abortion website slammed the new “Unplanned” movie as “racist” this week while ignoring a black actress’s powerful performance in the film.
Rewire gave an unsurprisingly poor review of the film, which follows the true story of former Planned Parenthood director-turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson. Along with abortion activists’ standard criticisms, the review also tried – unsuccessfully and inaccurately – to paint the pro-life film as racist.
“In addition to the film’s obvious anti-choice positioning, Unplanned delivers a more coded racial—and racist—message,” according to the pro-abortion site.
Rewire took issue with the fact that the film portrayed many of the women of color who were seeking abortions as poor. It was an odd criticism, given that abortion activists themselves frequently champion their cause on behalf of low-income women of color who, they say, need better access to abortion.
The review went on, “Here, there is no chance for redemption if you’re Black or brown: You are either a glib ‘abortionist’ or a tragic victim.”
It also erroneously claimed that the film did not include any “nonwhite speaking characters” other than “overly enthusiastic Planned Parenthood staffers or abortion-seekers who are portrayed as too downtrodden or stupid to realize the ‘wrongness’ of their decision.”
But, as Secular Pro-Life first noticed, the review completely ignored a powerful performance by black actress Anisa Nyell Johnson.
Johnson played the mother of a young woman named Rhonda who goes into Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Johnson’s character stands outside the fence at the abortion clinic, weeping and begging her daughter not to abort her unborn grandchild. Rhonda ignores her mother’s cries as Abby Johnson, played by Ashley Bratcher, escorts her inside.
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Though her role was not a large one, Johnson’s emotional performance made a strong, memorable impact on many viewers.
In its zeal to (wrongly) portray @UnplannedMovie as racist, @Rewire_News has printed an easily debunked lie (screenshot below) and shamefully erased the performance of Black actress @AnisaNyell, who IMHO provided one of the most emotionally impactful moments of the film. /1 pic.twitter.com/5KluQFjxBV
— secularprolife (@secularprolife) April 3, 2019
“It’s not surprising that Rewire would dislike ‘Unplanned,’ but denigrating black actors’ contributions to the film is completely uncalled for. They owe an apology to the entire cast — especially to Anisa Nyell Johnson,” Secular Pro-Life told LifeNews in a statement.
“’Unplanned’ isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Legit criticism is fine. But you don’t get to pretend that #prolife women of color don’t exist,” the pro-life group continued.
Despite the criticism from abortion activists, advertising rejections and a suspension on Twitter, “Unplanned” is doing unexpectedly well at the box office. On opening weekend, it earned $6.1 million and came in fifth place overall.
The film, which opened in theaters nationwide Friday, follows Johnson’s rise from clinic volunteer to clinic director, and her eventual pro-life conversion and spiritual redemption.
Based on Johnson’s 2012 memoir, the film’s true-to-life depiction of abortion earned it an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) last month. Since then, many have pointed out the hypocrisy in our culture which allows a teen to have an abortion but prevents her from seeing a film about abortion.