Sofia Carson is speaking out about the backlash facing her popular new Netflix movie, “Purple Hearts.”
The film follows Cassie (Carson) a liberal singer-songwriter who marries a conservative Marine, Luke (played by Nicholas Galitzine), so she can get health insurance and pay for insulin which she needs to treat her Type 1 Diabetes.
“Purple Hearts” has been labeled as misogynist and racist for some of its content, including a scene where Luke makes a toast exclaiming, “This one is to life, love and hunting down some godd**n Arabs, baby!” Cassie confronts Luke about the remark but the film never addresses the moment again.
the way purple hearts isn't even sublte but blatantly anti arab anti hispanic racist misogynistic AND pro military propaganda but ppl are frothing at the mouth bc 🥺enemies to lovers🥺 YEAH THEY'RE ENEMIES BCS HE'S A PRO GUN CONSERVATIVE SOLDIER AND SHE'S A LATINA LIBERAL
— ・ (@murderersmaze) August 2, 2022
Carson joined the film’s director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum for an interview with Variety in which the pair defended “Purple Hearts” against the criticism.
“I hope that people understand that in order for characters to grow, they need to be flawed in the beginning. So we very much intentionally created two characters that had been bred to hate each other,” Rosenbaum told the news outlet. “They are flawed at the beginning and that was intentional. In order for the red heart and the blue heart to kind of turn purple, you have to have them be kind of extreme.”
For her part, Carson spoke about what the movie means to her. “Why I fell in love with the movie is that it’s a love story but it’s so much more than that,” the former Disney star said. “It’s two hearts, one red, one blue, two worlds apart, who are really raised to hate each other.”
“Through the power of love, they learn to lead with empathy and compassion and love each other and turn into this beautiful shade of purple,” she added. “We wanted to represent both sides as accurately as possible. What I think I’ve learned to do as an artist is separate myself from all of that and just listen to what the world is feeling and reacting to with the film. That has been so beautifully overwhelming and so many people have felt seen or are comforted by this movie. That’s all we could want filmmakers and as artists.”
Despite the backlash, the movie has been a tremendous hit. It’s already been streamed upwards of 100 million hours in only two weeks. Given its tremendous success, it comes as no surprise that Netflix has already ordered a sequel to the film.