Lionsgate, the movie studio behind the struggling film adaptation of Judy Blume’s beloved novel ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,’ has enlisted the help of controversial trans influencer, Dylan Mulvaney, to boost the film’s promotion.
Despite receiving glowing reviews with a 99 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 94 percent audience score, the movie has underperformed at the box office, earning a mere $16 million in three weeks, falling short of its $30 million budget.
In a last-ditch effort to draw attention to the film, Lionsgate has partnered with Mulvaney, known for her previous advertisement with Bud Light that saw a significant drop in sales.
Mulvaney took to TikTok to share an interview with the celebrated author Blume, expressing her excitement in the clip, captioning it as “Are you there God, it’s me, Dylan!”
She referred to Blume as “one of my heroes” and urged her followers to watch the film with their loved ones on Mother’s Day weekend.
During the interview, Mulvaney discussed freedom of speech and the banning of books, topics close to Blume’s heart.
Blume expressed her concern over the current climate, comparing it to the book banning controversies of the 1980s, stating that the present situation is even scarier and worse.
She also clarified her stance on supporting equality and acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community, vehemently disagreeing with anyone who opposes these values.
When Mulvaney inquired about how young creatives can share their stories in the face of potential backlash, Blume advised them to ignore censors.
The motive behind Blume’s partnership with Mulvaney remains uncertain, leaving room for speculation about a potential damage-control strategy following the recent controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling, whom Blume has publicly supported.
Chatting with one of my heroes, Judy Blume!! Get tickets and take your mom, grandma, or the mother figure in your life to see Are You There God? #ItsMeMargaret this Mother’s Day weekend. It’s the iconic story we all love finally on the big screen! #lionsgatepartner
Rowling has faced criticism for her remarks on trans rights, leading to backlash from LGBTQ groups.
Blume herself has been targeted online in the past due to the themes explored in her books, which often tackle adolescent sexuality and puberty.
It’s worth noting that the author of the article, Hadley Freeman, described herself as a “gender critical feminist” who shares similar views with Rowling.
Despite the controversy, Blume expressed her unwavering support for Rowling, stating that she loves her and is standing behind her.
However, she acknowledged that she hadn’t reached out to Rowling during this challenging time but reflected on their previous interactions, sharing that they exchanged notes and discussed Blume’s novel ‘Deenie.’
In response to the Sunday Times article’s portrayal of her comments, Blume took to Twitter to clarify her stance on protecting children and the importance of educating them through reading.
She emphasized that books do not determine one’s gender or sexual orientation but rather offer understanding and empathy, citing the banned book ‘Gender Queer’ as an example.
Blume faced criticism for her sympathy towards Rowling, with supporters of trans rights asserting the need to differentiate between criticism and harassment.
The partnership between Bud Light and Mulvaney also faced negative repercussions, as the beer brand experienced a substantial decline in sales, with weekly drops as high as 23.6 percent compared to the previous year.
With sales continuing to plummet, industry analysts predict a sustained downward trend unless significant changes are made. The negative impact of Mulvaney’s association with Bud Light may have lasting effects on the brand throughout the summer months. Mulvaney’s collaboration with Bud Light began on April 1, coinciding with the decline in sales for the brand.