The mistreatment of Marilyn Monroe

Jenna Taylor, Staff Writer

Spoiler Warning: This article will discuss spoilers about “Blonde.”

As someone who grew up idolizing Marilyn Monroe and watching her movies, this film was one of the hardest I have ever had to sit through. “Blonde” is based on a historical fiction book written by Joyce Carol Oates that contains fictional stories about the life of Marilyn Monroe. 

Although the movie is not based on factual events that occurred in Monroe’s life, director Andrew Dominik takes every single opportunity he can to turn any scene into some version of Monroe being sexualized by men or the media. For example, not even twenty minutes into the movie, Monroe is getting sexually assaulted by a casting director. Not only are there no reports that this event occurred, but it is one of many scenes in which Monroe is experiencing an assault that did not happen in real life. 

One major scene that was heavily scrutinized on social media was the portrayal of the relationship between Monroe and former president John F. Kennedy. In this scene, Monroe is drugged and brought into a hotel room where “the president” forces her to perform a non-consensual sexual act. It even portrays Monroe’s attempt at dissociating by showing her inner dialogue as she was being sexually assaulted. This scene is completely based on lies and has no factual evidence to back up any claims that there was ever a romantic relationship between the former president and Monroe. 

The blatant and unnecessary over-sexualization of Monroe’s character through completely false events is horrific and a complete disrespect to the real life that Monroe lived. Not only were there gruesome scenes of sexual assault, but by the end of the movie, they tastelessly recreate her death in the exact location where she actually died in 1962. This movie takes every opportunity to fetishize Monroe, allowing the people who have sexualized her in real life to see this hyper-sexualized portrayal of her in high definition.