Since its debut in late July, the Netflix drama has dominated the Top 10 Most Watched, with Varietyreporting that the film has accumulated over 100 million watch hours to date. But despite its immense popularity, Purple Hearts has also garnered a ton of controversy thanks to its plot and dialogue, which follows the trajectory of a liberal musician named Cassie (Sofia Carson) as she enters into a "marriage of convenience" with Luke, a conservative Marine played by Nicholas Galitzine.
As they argued, the politically themed love story contains some cringy moments, including scene where Luke gets Cassie to stand down after another Marine toasts the dinner table by saying, "This one is to life, love and hunting down some goddamn Arabs, baby!" So naturally, there was a large swath of the internet that was less than pleased with a film that "isn't even sublte [sic] but blatantly anti arab anti hispanic racist misogynistic AND pro military propaganda,"" especially given that Carson – who also served as the film's co-producer and songwriter — is half-Latina herself.
"Purple hearts is us military propaganda that uses the invasion & deaths of 1.2 million iraqis as a romcom," as one critic wrote. "Not to mention him defending his racist friend & telling her to sit down & stop it when she called him out after he was cheering with 'hunting down some goddamm Arabs.'" And as another person added, what made this even worse was that Luke "never changes only she does and the movie is painting racism as a simple flaw and sum to overcome. and its [sic] not like he changes. he stays the same."
the way purple hearts isn't even sublte but blatantly anti arab anti hispanic racist misogynistic AND pro military propaganda but ppl are frothing at the mouth bc 🥺enemies to lovers🥺 YEAH THEY'RE ENEMIES BCS HE'S A PRO GUN CONSERVATIVE SOLDIER AND SHE'S A LATINA LIBERAL— ・ (@murderersmaze) August 2, 2022
Purple hearts is us military propaganda that uses the invasion & deaths of 1.2 million iraqis as a romcom— 𝓗𝓲𝓫𝓪 🪁 (@Hibou2799) August 9, 2022
Not to mention him defending his racist friend & telling her to sit down & stop it when she called him out after he was cheering with ”hunting down some goddamm Arabs” 🤌🏻
nah the issue is he never changes only she does and the movie is painting racism as a simple flaw and sum to overcome. and its not like he changes. he stays the same.— shania ! ☾ ☂︎︎ (@lunaxnight) August 15, 2022
As a result, Carson defended Purple Hearts' premise in new interview with Variety, in which she explained that the hope was for people 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," Carson said. "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."
She added, "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."
You can read everything Carson had to say about Purple Hearts here.
Photo via Getty / Rich Fury / MTV VMAs 2020
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