"The Georgia thing is horrifying," Cody said on the podcast. Picture: AP
"The Georgia thing is horrifying," Cody said on the podcast. Picture: AP

Juno writer Diablo Cody regrets not making the movie more pro-choice

By Allyson Chiu Time of article published May 30, 2019

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Washington - When Diablo Cody set out to write her first screenplay more than a decade ago, she said her inspiration came from one question: "What's a story that's never been told?"

With that, the 2007 Oscar-winning film Juno was born - a coming-of-age comedy chronicling the ups and downs in the life of a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant unexpectedly and decides to give her baby up for adoption.

But as US states nationwide are passing or working to pass highly restrictive abortion bills, Cody appears to be rethinking the movie that launched her career.

"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," the 40-year-old said in an interview on the Keep It podcast.

"The Georgia thing is horrifying," Cody said on the podcast. "It's honestly something I've been kind of thinking about continuously in an endless dark feedback loop. It sucks so.. bad."

When she was asked if a modern-day rewrite of Juno, which was set in Minnesota, would instead feature the main character grappling with Georgia's abortion law, Cody hesitated.

"I think I probably would have just told a different story in general," she said.

Since the film's 2007 debut, debate has swirled around the message the film sends about abortion because its protagonist, Juno MacGuff, played by Ellen Page, forgoes the procedure in favor of adoption. 

Antiabortion proponents have reportedly praised the film's "strong pro-life message," while others have interpreted Juno's actions as indicative of her freedom to choose what she thinks is best.

For Cody though, who has been vocal about being an abortion rights advocate, having her breakout movie be associated with antiabortion messaging is a regret that has troubled her for years.

"In a way I feel like I had a responsibility to maybe be more explicitly pro-choice, and I wasn't," Cody said during a Planned Parenthood benefit event in 2017 marking the film's 10th anniversary, Vanity Fair reported. "I think I took the right to choose for granted at the time."

The Washington Post

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