Emma Stone Reacts To Backlash Over Controversial Sex Scenes In ‘Poor Things’

Emma Stone is addressing the backlash over the graphic sex scenes in her latest film, “Poor Things.”

In the comedy fantasy film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Stone plays Bella Baxter, a Victorian era London woman who is resurrected from the dead by a scientist who swaps out her brain with the brain of a baby. Baxter then hooks up with a dissolute lawyer whom she becomes sexually liberated with.

In a new interview with BBC Radio 4’s Front Row this week, Stone defended the film’s risqué moments, which include masturbation visuals, after host Samira Ahmed called the scenes “quite graphic” and “unusual” to see “these days in Hollywood.”

“[Sex] is obviously a huge part of her experience and her growth, as it is, I think, for most people in life. But I see it as just one aspect of many: her discovery of food, philosophy, travel and dance. Sex is another aspect,” the Oscar winner said of her character.

She added: “One of the things that we had talked about from very early on, and I thought was extremely important, was that Bella is completely free and without shame about her body. She doesn’t know to be embarrassed by these things or to cover things up or not dive into the full experience when it comes to anything.”

Stone went on to explain that omitting controversial scenes from the film felt dishonest.

“So for the camera to sort of shy away from that, or to say, ‘OK, well, we’ll just cut all of this out because our society functions in a particular way’…felt like a lack of being honest about who Bella is,” she continued.

Doubling down on the importance of the scenes, Stone added that she’s “not a person that just wants to be naked all the time.”

“But I am someone who wants to honor the character as fully as I possibly can. That’s part of her journey, so who am I to say that should be shameful?” the actor said.

“Poor Things,” which scored Stone the Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy at this month’s Golden Globes, caused quite the stir on social media after its release.

Here’s what moviegoers on X (formerly Twitter) had to say about the film’s sex scenes.