Although Linda Blair made a name for herself as a ‘scream queen’ and took on roles others considered ‘disturbing,’ like her role in ‘The Exorcist;’ there were times when the actress also heated up controversies.
In the early 70s, for instance, the actress accepted to appear in a controversial drama movie, which also would become the most-watched televised movie of 1974.
However, even with the commercial success, Blair’s role as Chris Parker in ‘Born Innocent,’ would prove to be very controversial; later becoming the actress’ lowest-rated movie on IMDb. [with a 6.2]
Now, if you’re thinking about giving the film a shot, it might be the best time for you to take a step back from this article, as there’ll be spoilers below. However, if you have no interest in watching the film and just want to learn why it was so controversial, well, let’s dive into it.
First, let’s talk about the plot. Well, the movie was about a teenage girl called Chris Parker, who’d often run away from home since her father abused her. During one of these getaways, she would be placed in a girls’ detention center, and that’s how things would start to go downhill.
The detention center would prove to be not much different than Chris’ troubled family, and the young girl would be subjected to sexual and verbal assault, by the other girls.
The said sexual assault scene, especially, became the topic of heated discussions right after the movie landed, as many [including National Organization for Women and New York Rape Coalition] criticized the film for the brutal scene.
LGBTQ+ organizations also criticized the movie for having ‘negative connations’ on lesbians, as many allied organizations dismissed ‘Born Innocent’ and the controversial sexual assault scene as ‘propaganda against lesbians.’
However, the real trouble came down when a 10-year-old kid was sexually assaulted by their peers, who allegedly mentioned the movie’s name and claimed to be inspired by the sexual assault scene when the police were interrogating them.
The victim’s mother even filed a lawsuit against NBC and the film, for allegedly provoking the crime and influencing children, but the case was dismissed and the film wasn’t held accountable for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old.
Still, the shower scene where the assault took place was cut from the movie in many viewings. However, against all the controversies, Linda Blair was reportedly happy with the film, as she believed that the sexual assault scene helped victims to come forward.