Author Nora Roberts is well-known throughout the literary community for creating a limitless world of steamy romance, and one of her most popular novels has been greenlit to be turned into a Netflix original. But certain fans are fuming over what should be good news, all because the starring actress doesn’t fit their politics.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Roberts’ 1988 romance thriller Brazen Virtue is in development at Netflix to be adapted into an original film. Alyssa Milano has been cast to play lead character Grace, a crime writer who uses her expertise to solve the grisly murder of her sister with the help of a frustratingly handsome detective. It’s got everything a good romance plot requires: mystery, intrigue, danger, and sex.
However, the news of the Netflix adaptation isn’t sitting well with the conservative subset of Roberts’ fandom, who are demanding that Milano be recast for someone less...political. The Charmed actress has spent the last several years speaking out about topics close to her heart, using her platform to call attention to everything from the #MeToo movement to Supreme Court hearings to reproductive rights. Needless to say, a group of Roberts’ most passionate fans isn’t feeling the casting news and headed straight to her Facebook page to share their complaints.
But the romance writer didn’t back down from celebrating the big news, following up the social media announcement with another post.
"I’m simply and sincerely appalled,” she wrote of the negative reaction in a new Facebook post. “The vitriol, the hatred, the anger, the bitterness and the demands are astounding to me."
While she typically prefers to keep her personal politics private, Roberts pushed back against the wave of insults by explaining that she's also liberal Democrat, so the nasty comments about Milano were also indirectly aimed at her as well. And the author wasn't going to tolerate people being disrespectful on her social media.
"As [a Democrat], I’ve always believed everyone has a right to their political beliefs, and has a right to express their opinions," Roberts wrote. "But I don’t have to tolerate insults and ugliness on my page."
"Watch the movie when it comes out, or don’t," she concluded. "But lobbing nastiness at an actress or threatening me doesn’t do anything but illustrate your own limitations."
Not all of the reaction to Milano's casting in the adaptation were negative; many fans congratulated Roberts on the huge win and excitedly celebrated the new film in the comments. Brazen Virtue will follow a long line of Roberts' novels that have been turned into screenplays, but this project is the first Netflix pickup in the writer's long career. The streamer has recruited Monika Mitchell (The Knight Before Christmas, Virgin River) to direct the film, and Milano will act as an executive producer with Harvey Kahn.