”I was lulled into a false sense of security,“ ”Jagged Little Pill“ artist says of Alison Klayman’s film at TIFF
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 31: Alanis Morissette performs at the Times Square New Year’s Eve 2020 Celebration on December 31, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Alanis Morissette has condemned the documentary “Jagged” about her life story, saying that she was unaware of the film’s focus and what she calls a “salacious agenda” and that many details of it are “simply not true.”
Alison Klayman directed “Jagged,” which is making its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Tuesday. In the documentary, the singer says that she was statutory raped by multiple men when she was 15 as a pop star in Canada. The Washington Post first reported Morissette’s accusations and had added initially that she was upset with the film and would not be attending its premiere.
Morissette says she was approached for the film on behalf of her seminal album “Jagged Little Pill’s” 25th anniversary but was interviewed during what she calls a “very vulnerable time” and that her vision “painfully diverged” from the filmmakers when she saw the first cut of the movie.
“I ultimately won’t be supporting someone else’s reductive take on a story much too nuanced for them to ever grasp or tell,” Morissette wrote.
Morissette in the documentary does not mention any of her alleged abusers by name but says that whenever she discussed it with others in the music industry, it would “fall on deaf ears” and that it would be a “stand-up, walk-out-of-the-room moment.”
“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” she says in the film. “I would always say I was consenting, and then I’d be reminded like ‘Hey, you were 15, you’re not consenting at 15.’ Now I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re all pedophiles. It’s all statutory rape.”
The Washington Post notes that Canada’s age of consent is 16, but in the ’90s when Alanis Morissette, now 47, was 15, the legal age was 14. The law also states that the age can be higher “when there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency.”
“Jagged” is part of HBO’s upcoming documentary series “Music Box” as created by Bill Simmons, which kicked off with “Woodstock ’99” earlier this year. Other films playing as part of the series include a film called “Listening to Kenny G,” which is also screening at TIFF. The film is meant to debut on HBO later this year.
Read Morissette’s full statement to TheWrap below. HBO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“i agreed to participate in a piece about the celebration of jagged little pill’s 25th anniversary, and was interviewed during a very vulnerable time (while in the midst of my third postpartum depression during lockdown). i was lulled into a false sense of security and their salacious agenda became apparent immediately upon my seeing the first cut of the film. this is when i knew our visions were in fact painfully diverged. this was not the story i agreed to tell. i sit here now experiencing the full impact of having trusted someone who did not warrant being trusted. i have chosen not to attend any event around this movie for two reasons: one is that i am on tour right now. the other is that, not unlike many “stories” and unauthorized biographies out there over the years, this one includes implications and facts that are simply not true. while there is beauty and some elements of accuracy in this/my story to be sure— i ultimately won’t be supporting someone else’s reductive take on a story much too nuanced for them to ever grasp or tell.”
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