From “Rosemary’s Baby” to “The Bad Seed” to “The Omen,” demon children have long been a staple of horror films. Just don’t call them orphans.

Warner Bros.’ new horror film “Orphan” -- which debuts July 24 -- has sparked outrage from the adoption community, which says it promotes negative stereotypes about orphans. In this latest incarnation of the perennial paranoia, a middle-class family adopts an eerie 9-year-old girl who wreaks havoc on their lives.

The film has also sparked a 4,145-member Facebook group called “I Am Boycotting Warner Bros. ‘Orphan’ Movie” and outrage from various Christian and nonsecular adoption groups.


Already Warner Bros. has changed the initial voice-over from the trailer that ominously stated, “It must be difficult to love an adopted child as much as your own,” to “I don’t think Mommy likes me very much.”

Studio spokesman Scott Rowe said in a statement, “ ‘Orphan’ is a work of fiction; it is not a depiction of any real-life events or situations and has never been portrayed as anything but an entirely fictional story. We apologize if we appeared insensitive with the initial trailer as it’s never our intent to offend anyone with our products.”


Rachel Abramowitz