Amanda Knox on STILLWATER Release: ‘Others Profit Off My Name, Face and Story Without My Consent’
By Movieguide® Staff
Amanda Knox blasted Hollywood and mainstream media after the release of STILLWATER.
Knox is the real-life American woman who was convicted and then exonerated in 2007 after her roommate and fellow exchange student was murdered in Italy. Knox called out the movie’s director, Tom McCarthy, for profiting off of a misinterpretation of her life story.
Moreover, Knox revealed that STILLWATER is not the only adaptation of real-life events, whose production neglected to ask for her insights.
“Does my name belong to me? Does my face? What about my life? My story? Why is my name used to refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, and story without my consent. Most recently, the film Stillwater,” Knox wrote on Medium.
“This new film by director Tom McCarthy, starring Matt Damon, is ‘loosely based’ or ‘directly inspired by’ the ‘Amanda Knox saga,’ as Vanity Fair put it in a for-profit article promoting a for-profit film, neither of which I am affiliated with,” Knox continued. “I want to pause right here on that phrase: ‘the Amanda Knox saga.’ What does that refer to? Does it refer to anything I did? No. It refers to the events that resulted from the murder of Meredith Kercher by a burglar named Rudy Guede. It refers to the shoddy police work, prosecutorial tunnel vision, and refusal to admit their mistakes that led the Italian authorities to wrongfully convict me, twice.”
Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER.
/ a thread
— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021
Knox expressed her disgust at the lack of communication from those in Hollywood, but also focused on the “lack of agency” she felt over the eight years of false accusation.
“In those four years of wrongful imprisonment and 8 years of trial, I had near-zero agency,” she wrote. “Everyone else in that ‘saga’ had more influence over the course of events than I did. The erroneous focus on me by the Italian authorities led to an erroneous focus on me by the press, which shaped how I was presented to the world. In prison, I had no control over my public image, no voice in my story.”
Before the release of STILLWATER and Knox speaking out, McCarthy stressed that while his movie undoubtedly drew from Knox’s circumstances, the rest of the story is highly fictionalized.
“All I wanted was that bit of the story – American woman, student rather even, in jail for a crime she may have or may not have committed. Beyond that, there is not really much comparison that I know of to the Amanda Knox story,” the SPOTLIGHT director told Yahoo. [I wanted] to take this piece of the story — an American woman studying abroad involved in some kind of sensational crime and she ends up in jail — and fictionalize everything around it.”
But Knox claims McCarthy never spoke to her about the movie or her story.
“If you’re going to ‘leave the Amanda Knox case behind,’ and ‘fictionalize everything around it,’ maybe don’t use my name to promote it. You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind very well if every single review mentions me. You’re not leaving the Amanda Knox case behind when my face appears on profiles and articles about the film,” she wrote. “By fictionalizing away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person. And with Matt Damon’s star power, both are sure to profit handsomely off of this fictionalization of ‘the Amanda Knox saga’ that is sure to leave plenty of viewers wondering, ‘Maybe the real-life Amanda was involved somehow.'”