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'Where the Crawdads Sing' Film Sought to Distance Itself From Author's Controversy

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Delia Owens, retired wildlife biologist and author of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” has an alleged controversial past and the film sought to distance itself from it.

The film adaptation of the novel has proven to be a success, but has since been watered down by questions surrounding whether Owens’ was involved in a murder.

Last month, Fox News reported that Owens was wanted in connection with the shooting and killing of an alleged poacher.

The shooting reportedly occurred in the 1990s in Zambia.

In a New Yorker article titled “The Hunted,” published in 2010, Jeffrey Goldberg asked Owens about the allegation that her stepson was the one who shot the alleged poacher.

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Owens responded, “Chris wasn’t there.”

She added, “We don’t even know where that event took place. It was horrible, a person being shot like that.”

Goldberg reported that years had passed and “though no charges were brought and no warrants filed over the killing of the poacher, the Owenses never returned to Zambia.”

The New York Times points out that the death occurred during an anti-poaching patrol as part of Owen’s and her husband, Mark’s conservation project.

An ABC crew reportedly recorded the shooting while filming a documentary on the Owens.

Officials opened an investigation after the episode aired.

The Times asked Owens if she had any involvement during an interview in 2019.

“I was not involved,” she said, adding, “There was never a case, there was nothing.”

The recent questions surrounding her involvement with the murder have caused somewhat of a headache for the film.

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Time magazine questioned screenwriter Lucy Alibar about the controversy.

She told the outlet she was not familiar with it.

However, following the interview with Alibar, “A representative for Sony, the film’s distributor, canceled scheduled interviews with Owens, Witherspoon, Newton, and star Daisy Edgar-Jones,” as Time explained.

Some could not help but notice the parallels between Owens’ experience and that of her heroine in the story.

IMDB explains that the film surrounds the story of a woman “who raised herself in the marshes of the deep South becomes a suspect in the murder of a man she was once involved with.”

Check out the trailer for the film below:

As Slate reported in 2019, “Having her heroine stand accused of murder echoes the Owens’ Zambian experience and the subsequent ordeal of becoming the subject of a 18,000-word exposé in a prominent magazine.”

The report continued, “Even more eyebrow-raising is the plot twist in the novel’s final pages: It turns out Kya did, after all, murder Chase.”

The film’s theatrical release last month raked in $17 million.

It was produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neudstadter.

Additionally, it featured a new song from Taylor Swift.

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