Jason Bateman has come to the defense of the Oscar-nominated film, “Juno,” claiming the movie should not bare blame for the flood of teen pregnancies in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Last week, Dr. Joseph Sullivan, the principal at Gloucester High School told Time magazine, a “bump” in teen pregnancies at his school – from 10 earlier this year to 17 — had to do with “seven or eight sophomore girls.”
“They made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together,” Sullivan said.
As the media quickly honed in on the story, it was branded “the Juno effect” and commentators openly discussed whether the film, which starred Ellen Page and Bateman, along with the teen pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears, who at 17, became a mother last week, affected the Gloucester girls, who so far have remained silent.
“I don’t know the specifics, but I can speak about what sort of responsibility entertainment should hold for social behavior,” Bateman, who starred as one half of adoptive couple the Lorings in “Juno,” told Access Hollywood. “Unfortunately, we’ve had these instances where guys kill people because of what they hear in rock ‘n roll lyrics or some garbage like that. Look, if you’re going to blame a movie or song for your actions, whether they be good or bad, I think you’re looking at the wrong things to influence your life.”
Bateman said the film, which saw Page’s Juno MacGuff carry her unplanned pregnancy to term before allowing her child to be adopted by Jennifer Garner’s Vanessa Loring, should be allowed to remain a work of entertainment.
“What we’re doing is providing entertainment in different flavors for your consumption,” Bateman said. “I think people should look to other areas of their life for lessons and guidance, mainly parents, or teachers, or friends, or whomever. That should probably be where you should point your eyes and ears.”
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