After Netflix was slammed by viewers for not adding a trigger warning at the beginning of Mila Kunis’ new film, Luckiest Girl Alive, author and screenwriter Jessica Knoll addressed the viral frustration.
“We’ve done a lot to be sensitive about all of the very sensitive issues that are in the film,” Jessica told Variety on Wednesday, October 19. “I am a little surprised by it, honestly, because there’s so much violence against women in a lot of things out there right now. I just don’t see people in an uproar about that. We’ve gone to all these lengths in all these other ways, and I’m happy to do it. I want there to be resources for people. I want people to be prepared going in, so yeah, it’s a little surprising.”
The movie, which premiered on the streaming service on September 30, follows magazine writer Ani FaNelli (Kunis) as she confronts two traumatic experiences from her childhood when she takes part in a true crime documentary.
Luckiest Girl Alive, which is based on Jessica’s 2015 novel of the same name, is rated R for “violent content, rape, sexual material,” as well as language and teen substance use. While the rating warns viewers what to expect, many fans are arguing that the streaming service should also include a trigger warning for its depictions of a school shooting and gang rape.
After watching the film, several critics took to social media to beg the streaming service to add a trigger warning so that future viewers are prepared for the heavy subject matter.
“I was bamboozled by Netflix’s description of luckiest girl alive,” one person tweeted. “No trigger warning no heads up no nothing.”
“I thought I missed the trigger warning about luckiest girl alive, but reading the tweets now, there were no TW about SA, right? anyway slaying this panic attack,” another added.
“Wow. Good job, @netflix on the trigger warning you didn’t provide on your Luckiest Girl Alive movie,” a third chimed in. “PSA for anyone who is gonna watch the movie, there is very graphic intense scenes of sexual assault in this movie.”
A following social media user added, “Huge trigger warning for sexual assault on Luckiest girl alive on Netflix. It’s two pretty long sickening scenes half way through, only warning you bc I wished I was warned.”
A rep for Netflix did not immediately respond to In Touch‘s request for comment.
Mila previously opened up about why she was interested in playing the character and adapting the difficult story to screen. “I love playing somebody who is so desperate with wanting to be something that they’re not,” she told the Toronto Star in October.
The Friends With Benefits actress then shared how she got into character. “I think that anytime you work on a character, or you do any film, whether it’s a drama or comedy or horror, doesn’t matter what the genre is, people are people, and monsters are monsters and you can’t be judgmental,” Mila said. “The worst thing you can do as an actor is judge your character for doing something. So the first thing that you want to do is find the justifications for all of their actions because so rarely will they actually align with yours as a person.”
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.
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