Alanis Morissette Has Denounced the HBO Documentary 'Jagged,' Calling It "Reductive" and "Salacious"

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Alanis Morissette Has Denounced the HBO Documentary 'Jagged,' Calling It "Reductive" and "Salacious"
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Alanis Morissette participated in Alison Klayman’s HBO documentary Jagged, sitting for interviews for a film in honor of her 1995 album “Jagged Little Pill”’s 25th anniversary. But in the hours before the doc’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere on September 14, Morissette released a statement explaining that she would not be attending the premiere and denouncing the film, calling it “reductive” and “salacious.”

“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),” she wrote in a statement issued by her publicist. “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.”

Morissette did not specify her issues with the documentary in her statement. The film, which explores her rise to fame at a young age, does include sensitive subject matter including footage of Morissette discussing sexual abuse that occurred when she was 15 years old.

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

“It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part,” she says in the documentary, according to The Washington Post. “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.”

On Tuesday, Director Alison Klayman expressed her regrets to Deadline that Morissette would not attend the premiere. “It’s a really hard thing, I think, to see a movie made about yourself,” she said. “I think she’s incredibly brave and the reaction when she saw it was that it was a really — she could feel all the work, all the nuance that went into it. And again, she gave so much of her time and so much of her effort into making this and I think that the movie really speaks for itself.”

Morissette is currently on tour, but makes clear in her statement that her choice to not attend any events or participate in publicity for Jagged is because it “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,” she said.

Jagged is set to premiere November 19 on HBO.

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