Why Nicole Scherzinger Almost Turned Down A Role In The Dirty Dancing Remake

Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Nicole Scherzinger will play Penny Johnson in the upcoming Dirty Dancing remake, but she almost turned down the role due to the character's controversial storyline. In the 1987 original movie, Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) is Johnny's (Patrick Swayze) dance partner who gets an illegal abortion that results in complications. It was something Scherzinger wasn't totally comfortable with. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Scherzinger said her "Papa’s a Bishop and my family’s really hardcore against abortion." For those reasons, she "didn’t want to promote abortion," but ended up taking the part because she felt she could be an inspiration. "I was like, hopefully they can learn from [Penny's] ways and I can be a positive influence," she said. Her family agreed, believing that Scherzinger was meant to take this role. "We decided that maybe I could be a voice," she said, "that I could shed some light on the subject without being preachy." Though, Scherzinger also feels a very personal connection to the story. As she explained to the paper, her Catholic mom got pregnant with her when she was 17 and "she chose" to keep her. "Her parents were never going to let her have an abortion," she said. "So I came out, so I just want to you know encourage everybody to keep your babies." What Scherzinger's story makes clear is that the decision to have an abortion or not is always a woman's choice. Abortion is not a black or white issue, but a complicated personal decision that we should trust women to make for themselves. The Dirty Dancing remake, starring Abigail Breslin and Debra Messing, will air in 2017.

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