Purple Hearts star Sofia Carson has defended the depiction of racism in the hit Netflix romance film.
The movie, released on the streaming service last month, focuses on a romance between a liberal musician and a conservative Marine.
Despite receiving a hammering from critics, the film has been a surprise hit with viewers, topping the streaming service’s film charts.
However, one scene has caused particular consternation among viewers. In the scene, a Marine character make a toast to “hunting down some Goddamn Arabs”.
While the film doesn’t endorse the man’s words – in fact, he is seen being called out by other characters – some viewers had suggested that it was unneccesary to include the moment.
In an interview withVariety, director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum and star Carson defended the inclusion.
“Why I fell in love with the movie is that it’s a love story,” Carson said. “But it’s so much more than that. 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. 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.”
Rosenbaum, meanwhile, stated: “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.
“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. Some of the people that they’re surrounded with are even more flawed than they are.”
Purple Hearts is available to stream on Netflix now.