“I, Tonya” presents pro-violence message

Movie glamorizes attack on Nancy Kerrigan

Payton Fenwick

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Violence has been an issue around the world for years. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute of Justice, nearly 25% of women experience at least one physical assault during adulthood. While there have been movements against violence, there will be no change unless all people are committed to the eradication of violence.

In light of the reports of violence around the country, the movie industry is producing a new movie that not only acknowledges this violence, but glamorizes it.

“I, Tonya” follows the past of former USA Ice Skating team member Tonya Harding who paid a man to break her opponent’s, Nancy Kerrigan, leg. The film follows Harding through her childhood growing up in the competitive ice skating world and details Harding’s mother as conditioning young Harding into hating her competitors. “I, Tonya” not only contradicts the idea of fighting against physical violence but glamorizes it by placing Harding on a pedestal because of the abuse done to Nancy Kerrigan. The film may be attributing Harding’s violent tendencies to the alleged abuse done to her but this still doesn’t make it okay to pay someone to hurt your opponent’s leg.

Tonya Harding should not be accepting applause at the Golden Globes for being “brave” by telling her story. Instead, we should be applauding Nancy Kerrigan for her bravery and persistence in her time of pain and suffering. Because of Harding, Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from the 1994 U.S. figure skating championship because of a bruised leg.

At the Golden Globes, Allison Janney, who plays Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in “I, Tonya”, won an award for best supporting actress in the film. In her speech she says “I would just like to thank Tonya for sharing her story. What this movie did is tell a story about class in America, tell a story about the disenfranchised, tell the story about a woman who was not embraced for her individuality…” At this point in the award show, other celebrities and bystanders began to stand and applaud Harding for “sharing her story”. “I, Tonya” is a movie making a woman who used violence to try and get ahead a hero.

LuckyChap Entertainment is tarnishing the connotation of physical violence. By producing a movie with this kind of message, they are setting the movement against physical violence back. Outrage would ensue if a studio created a movie that formed Chris Brown as the hero of the abuse done to Rihanna. So how is “I, Tonya” any different?

“I, Tonya” is presenting the wrong idea of about violence. Instead of encouraging a movie that presents Harding as a hero, we should be boycotting this film.

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