Jordan Peele Documentary, “Lorena” Aims to Show the Other Side of the Scandal
Get Out director Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions will be producing a four-part docuseries for Amazon Video entitled, Lorena, detailing the early 1990’s case of then-married couple John and Lorena Bobbitt. Monkeypaw has produced Key & Peele for Comedy Central, The Last O.G. for TBS, as well as an upcoming Twilight Zone remake for CBS All Access. Joshua Rofé will direct the docuseries. Rofé has directed documentaries in the past focusing on similar issues and appears to be a natural fit for the project. The 2016 documentary Swift Current focused on childhood sexual abuse victim and former National Hockey League player Sheldon Kennedy.
“When we hear the name ‘Bobbitt,’ we think of one of the most sensational incidents to ever be catapulted into a full-blown media spectacle.” – Jordan Peele
The Bobbitt incident was among the first news stories to receive 24-hour coverage as tabloid TV was taking a foothold in the United States. The unfortunate sensationalism and media attention that accompanied the story overshadowed the tale of Lorena Bobbitt, a survivor of physical and sexual assault. The Ecuadorian-born Bobbitt, born Lorena Gallo, was aged 23 at the time she severed her husband’s penis with a kitchen knife while he slept. The incident took place on the night of June 23rd, 1993. After an extensive search, Virginia police were able to locate the appendage, which was reattached after almost 10 hours of surgery. Lorena was acquitted from 20 years in prison after the defense argued that her actions were the result of mental anguish caused by years of abuse at the hands of her spouse. Despite both the defense and prosecution agreeing that Lorena lived in constant fear of her husband prior to the incident, John Bobbitt was acquitted of Rape. Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty due to insanity and was sentenced to 45 days at a psychiatric hospital.
After the incident, John Bobbitt was given several opportunities for financial gain despite his known history as an abuser. The opportunities in question included an unsuccessful musical tour and several adult films. Bobbitt was even featured on a segment on WWE’s Monday Night Raw, while the aforementioned reattachment surgery was funded by radio personality Howard Stern. Lorena was able to recover from scrutiny and public ridicule, and founded the non-profit Lorena’s Red Wagon to benefit victims of Domestic Abuse.
During a recent interview Jordan Peele stated: “With this project, Lorena has a platform to tell her truth as well as engage in a critical conversation about gender dynamics, abuse and her demand for justice. This is Lorena’s story, and we’re honored to help her tell it.”
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