Nick Loeb’s, by all accounts disastrous, Roe V. Wade movie is the trash fire that just keeps raging. First, we learned of its existence along with its already eyebrow-raising number of cast and crew walkouts, which included the film’s original director. Then we learned the script for this anti-abortion propaganda was so bad that even Kevin Sorbo and Stephen Baldwin bailed on it. But nothing would keep attention-addicted conservative firebrands Milo Yiannopoulos and Tomi Lahren from cameoing. Over the weekend, the story behind this already embarrassing effort just got stranger.
For one thing, Lahren, who is pro-choice, faced backlash from right-wingers who declared her not “conservative enough” to be a part of Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, another one of Loeb’s controversial secret cameos was revealed by Ben Collinsworth, who claims to be the film’s former 2nd 2nd Assistant Director.
PS - I did leave a job, so if any of y’all want to hire a director/producer/AD, I’m available— Ben Collinsworth (@TheBigBen76) July 7, 2018
PPS - Can confirm Roger Stone shot that cameo
That’s right. Roger Stone, proud consultant to Trump, former lobbying partner of Paul Manafort, and the guy who loves Nixon so much he has his portrait tattooed on his back. Collinsworth didn’t share what role Stone would play in Roe v. Wade. But his Twitter thread notes Collinsworth was one of the crew members who left the project after reading the script. He also calls bullshit on producers (especially Dr. Alveda King) suggesting it was pressure from liberal Hollywood that spurred cast and crew members to quit.
I had intended to remain publicly silent until yesterday when, during an interview on “Fox & Friends”, Dr. Alveda King said that crew were leaving the project due to “pressure from Hollywood” and were “getting rattled”. (4/9)— Ben Collinsworth (@TheBigBen76) July 6, 2018
I precisely articulated my reasons for leaving to the Unit Production Manager, citing that I felt this script was a false account of history and the writer was engaging in disingenuous character assassination. (7/9)— Ben Collinsworth (@TheBigBen76) July 6, 2018
For more on this notorious script, we look to The Daily Beast, who snagged a copy. It turns out that on top of writing, producing and co-directing, Loeb is also the film’s lead, playing Dr. Bernard Nathanson “an obstetrician and co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) who, after witnessing (via ultrasound) an abortion being performed, transformed into a fierce anti-abortion activist. Nathanson also narrates the proceedings, in an apparent nod to 1984’s controversial anti-abortion propaganda film The Silent Scream.”
“Riddled with typos, inaccuracies and misquotations,” Roe v. Wade’s script begins with an “attractive woman” bombing an abortion clinic. Also in the movie—that Loeb insists would be PG—there’s a scene involving “a dozen buckets of tiny fetuses and baby parts,” and others including what The Daily Beast says are “depicted as a shady cabal of rich lefty Jews” who profit off of abortion and meet over “daiquiris or pastrami sandwiches.” Of course there’s the proclamation that Hollywood’s been paid off to sell the public on abortion, with heralded champion of abortion rights Larry Lader proclaiming, “We control the media… They write whatever we tell them.”
Then comes a scene that declares access to abortion is a malevolent plot to eradicate “the Negro population.” This sinister scene comes from a conservative-favored conspiracy theory that takes a quote from birth control activist Margaret Sanger wildly out of context. While Sanger’s interest in eugenics undoubtedly makes her a problematic feminist figure, it has been roundly debunked that her fight for accessible birth control was a means of racially-motivated genocide. Yet that hasn’t stopped conservatives like Herman Cain to Ben Carson and apparently Nick Loeb from passing it off as fact.
Per one anonymous crew member:
“After reading the script, you realize no, this isn’t opinion, this is lies and propaganda that they’re trying pass off within some historical context. With the Margaret Sanger quote, they twisted it and used it to discredit everything that she possibly did. It’s similar to what the right-wing media is doing now: they take one thing that someone said—or even half-said—and then they turn it into something that isn’t true in order to discredit everything they’ve ever done.”
But Sanger’s not the only historical figure the movie misquotes to strengthen its anti-abortion argument. It also distorts the opinions of Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Martin Luther King Jr, which is particularly uncomfortable as the aforementioned producer, Dr. Alveda King, is the Civil Rights icon’s niece. For greater context, I highly recommend reading the whole Daily Beast piece. They are positively nailing it in coverage of Roe v. Wade. But, I warn you, it may lead you to barks of dark laughter and sparking rage.
Another feminist figure set up to be maligned in Roe v. Wade is Betty Friedan, who is counted among the film’s pastrami-munching cabal, who allegedly support abortions to line their own pockets. On Twitter, Mara Wilson revealed Loeb wanted her to play the author of The Feminine Mystique, which might seem confusing considering the former child star has become a writer and an outspoken activist for LGBTQIA and anti-Semitism initiatives. But in a movie where he wrangled Steve Guttenberg, Joey Lawrence, and Jamie Kennedy, it seems like casting may have been done by chucking darts at a bunch of PEOPLE magazines from the ’90s.
On Twitter, the witty Wilson shared her take on the script:
They wanted me to play Betty Friedan, who is written as being in her late 20s in the ’70s. Which, as a friend of mine pointed out, is not true.— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 7, 2018
Probably the thing that stood out most to me was the actors that they wanted to play brilliant, intelligent doctors and lawyers did not seem… like they could convincingly play brilliant, intelligent doctors and lawyers— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 7, 2018
(She might be referring to Lawrence, Kennedy, Yiannopoulos, and Stacey Dash.)
Is there a very gauche line intentionally trying to allude to BLM? Comparing abortion to slavery, and saying the former is “worse”? Is it a white man saying it to a black woman? 🤔— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 8, 2018
But most of it isn’t comically bad. A lot of it is just dull and poorly written.— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 8, 2018
Misleading, dull, poorly written, Loeb’s script is a vanity project that not only casts him as the hero—and as writer/producer/co-director—but also seems to be a plea to continue his frozen embryo custody case against his ex, Sofia Vergara. The Daily Beast notes Loeb chose to shoot Roe v. Wade in Lousiana, the same state where he’s attempting to sue to use the embryos against Vergara’s wishes.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” one crew member commented, “I think the two are definitely tied together. I don’t know what his motive is, to give a face to embryos? If so, that’s a pretty expensive face.”