Jordan Peele's new project is certainly a choice: as per Entertainment Weekly, the Oscar-nominated director will produce an Amazon docuseries about Lorena Gallo Bobbitt, a woman who made headlines when she cut off her husband's penis in 1993. Gallo claimed it was self defense, alleging that her husband, whose name is John Wayne, had raped her earlier that night. (Wayne subsequently had his penis reattached.) Tabloids sensationalized Bobbitt's tale, and she became a household name.
"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," Peele said in a statement. "This is Lorena’s story and we’re honored to help her tell it."
Gallo's tale is worth revisiting, especially in light of the #MeToo movement. Due to the subversive nature of the crime, it earned international attention. Gallo was charged with malicious wounding for her crimes, and Bobbitt was charged with marital sexual assault, as per report from the New York Times. The case became a platform for groups concerned with domestic violence, as Gallo claimed Bobbitt had been abusing her for years before the incident. Bobbitt's story, as per reports, wavered, changing constantly as he retold it for law enforcement. As a result of mounting attention, both Gallo and Bobbitt became celebrities. According to the Times, both hired agents to handle interview requests at the time. At the time, they both seemed like villains: Gallo had taken a knife to someone's genitals, and Bobbitt was said to be a serial philanderer as well as a liar. His story about the night of the incident continually changed when he recounted it. In some versions, he and Gallo had consensual sex. In other versions, he claims he was too tired to copulate.
Both Gallo and Bobbitt were found not guilty — the jury found Gallo not guilty by reason of insanity, and Bobbitt was acquitted of his marital sexual assault charge. They later divorced and fell into post-celebritydom. In 2009, Gallo appeared on Oprah to discuss her life since the incident, which had included a 1997 assault charge. They appeared together on The Insider that same year.
The Bobbitt series rings similar to Wild, Wild, Country, the Netflix docuseries about the Rajneesh movement in Oregon in the '70s. The Duplass Brothers, two indie comedy veterans, produced Wild, Wild Country, which tells the story from the point of view of Ma Anand Sheela, a woman deeply involved in the Rajneesh movement. Sheela herself appears throughout the documentary, giving her take on the events. Peele's series sounds like it will be Lorena Gallo's take on the events of 1993 — it's her Wild, Wild, Country.