Observe and Report Movie Thinks Date Rape is Funny?

Offender: “Observe and Report” movie, written and directed by Jody Hill

Media Outlet: Warner Brothers, opened 4/10/09 in movie theatres nationwide

The Offense: The lead character in this “comedy” rapes the object of his obsession after she becomes so intoxicated that she vomits and passes out.

Here’s the R-rated trailer (warning!)

NOW’s Analysis: Date rape is no laughing matter. But Jody Hill and Warner Brothers apparently think so. Yes, the lead character of Ronnie is supposed to be mentally ill to the point of being deranged and violent. However, his infatuation with Brandi has the potential to make him sympathetic to every guy who has ever lusted after a woman “out of his league.”

So, what are moviegoers to think when Ronnie takes advantage of Brandi after she has taken pills and thrown back numerous shots? Any rape counselor, and hopefully any law enforcement officer, would tell you that a real woman in Brandi’s condition could not meaningfully consent to sex. But the writer conveniently put words in Brandi’s mouth, in the middle of a passed out haze during which Ronnie is raping her, that urge him to continue. Brandi is barely aware of what is happening to her and a trail of vomit is visible on the pillow next to her slack mouth, but she has expressed that she wants sex, so all systems are go for Ronnie and laughter!

It is telling that the actor playing Ronnie, Seth Rogen, has referred to Brandi as being “unconscious” during the scene. Anna Faris, who plays Brandi, has called it “the date-rape scene” and expressed shock that the scene even made it into the movie, saying she thought it surely would be cut by a mainstream studio like Warner Brothers. The scene should have been cut. Heck, it never should have been filmed. It’s actually quite simple — the scene promotes and excuses sexual violence against women, and it degrades and exploits the actress in the role.

Take Action: Share your outrage with Warner Brothers!

Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director

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