NBC's Guthrie Grills Justin Bieber's Mom On Being Involved With 'Anti-Abortion' Film

In an interview with Pattie Mallette, mother of pop star Justin Bieber, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie worried about Mallette's producing role in an upcoming film: "...you wanted to talk about your involvement in a movie called Crescendo....[which] tells the story of Beethoven's mother, who, while she was pregnant, attempted to have an abortion and even attempted suicide....it's a movie with a decidedly pro-life/anti-abortion purpose." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Guthrie invited Mallette to distance herself from that purpose: "But you feel like people, as I understand it, are getting the wrong message about what you are trying to say by your participation?" Mallette replied: "Yeah, I don't feel that it is a pro-life message. I mean, people are going to get from it what they want to. It's just – it's a true story, it's a historical piece." Guthrie pressed further: "Do you feel misled at all by the producers of the film? I mean, if the film has this message and its goal is to – is an anti-abortion message, I mean, are you okay with that? I guess I'm confused about what your position is."

Mallette pushed back on Guthrie's portrayal of the film: "...to my knowledge, it's not an anti-abortion message, it's not an anti-abortion film. It's just the story of Beethoven's mom....I'm not trying to make a political stance. The media says all kinds of stuff about where I stand and what I'm saying....I'm not trying to get involved in that stuff."

Mallette explained why she was drawn to the movie:

I wanted to get involved with this film was because, you know, I lived in a pregnancy home my whole pregnancy with Justin. And so this is going to be used as a tool to raise money for pregnancy centers. So regardless of your stance, pro-life, you know, or whatever it is, I just think that anybody would want to help girls in need if they need a place to stay....I'm here just to help the girls find a place to stay when they're pregnant and, you know, it really helped me. It saved my life.


Here is a transcript of the February 7 exchange:

8:20AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Justin Bieber just reached a major career milestone. He is now the youngest artist to have five chart-topping albums. And this weekend, he's appearing on Saturday Night Live as both host and musical guest. And one person who is sure to be watching is Justin's mom Pattie Mallette. Pattie, good morning, it's good to see you.

PATTIE MALLETTE: Good to see you.

GUTHRIE: We want to talk about Justin. This is a very exciting weekend for him. But I know one of the reasons you're here is you wanted to talk about your involvement in a movie called Crescendo.

MALLETTE: Yes.

GUTHRIE: This is a movie that, as I understand it, tells the story of Beethoven's mother, who, while she was pregnant, attempted to have an abortion and even attempted suicide while pregnant with Beethoven. You are a part of this movie, I think you're one of the producers of this movie, it's a movie with a decidedly pro-life/anti-abortion purpose. But you feel like people, as I understand it, are getting the wrong message about what you are trying to say by your participation?

MALLETTE: Yeah. Yeah, I don't feel that it is a pro-life message. I mean, people are going to get from it what they want to. It's just – it's a true story, it's a historical piece. And the reason why I wanted to get involved with this film was because, you know, I lived in a pregnancy home my whole pregnancy with Justin. And so this is going to be used as a tool to raise money for pregnancy centers. So regardless of your stance, pro-life, you know, or whatever it is, I just think that anybody would want to help girls in need if they need a place to stay.

GUTHRIE: Do you feel misled at all by the producers of the film? I mean, if the film has this message and its goal is to – is an anti-abortion message, I mean, are you okay with that? I guess I'm confused about what your position is.

MALLETTE: It's not anti – you know, to my knowledge, it's not an anti-abortion message, it's not an anti-abortion film. It's just the story of Beethoven's mom. And she tried to have an abortion, she tried to commit suicide, and was unsuccessful. That's, you know, that's just the bottom line of it.

GUTHRIE: And you wrote in your book a lot about how hard it was to be – to have an unplanned pregnancy.

MALLETTE: Yeah.

GUTHRIE: And how the pregnancy center really helped you when you were pregnant with Justin.

MALLETTE: It did. It helped me, yeah, so much. Like, I know for me, I'm not trying to make a political stance. The media says all kinds of stuff about where I stand and what I'm saying. And like Justin, I'm not trying to get involved in that stuff. So I just – I'm here just to help the girls find a place to stay when they're pregnant and, you know, it really helped me. It saved my life.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC