Not Okay (2022) Ending Explained: Is “Not Okay” Based on a Real Event?

Not Okay (2022) Ending Explained

In the Hulu Original film Not Okay, director/writer Quinn Shephard (Blame) addresses issues of privilege and adoptive trauma. In order to catch Colin (Dylan O’Brien), her coworker, on Instagram, Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch), a fame-hungry, aspiring writer, fakes a trip to Paris.

However, Danni’s lie spirals out of control when a terrorist assault occurs in Paris while she is ostensibly in retreat. To bolster the credibility of her own “survival story,” she adopts Rowan (Mia Isaac), a friend who survived a school shooting.

Danni quickly gains a taste of the fame and fans she’s always desired by using other people’s trauma as her own and posing as a bombing survivor.

What Reason Danni Sanders Lies About Paris?

Sanders is all by herself. She may be alone and without friends, but at least she has a job as a writer at Depravity. Although her current article laments her FOMO for missing the 9/11 tragedy, her supervisor understandably doesn’t enjoy her tone-deaf writing style.

That’s a brief summary of Danni. Always fearful of losing out, she searches for tragedy to satisfy her attention-seeking want. She tells a couple of her gay employees, “You guys are very lucky,” after they decline to ask her to queer bowling night.

“You seem to have a community. There is a parade. You host a bowling night at your house.

Not Okay (2022) Ending Explained

She is abruptly cut off. Being a minority is excellent, I agree. Danni, however, chooses to wear her Whiteness and heterosexuality as the garments of a self-martyr instead of picking up on the humor.

It’s not very surprising that Danni makes up going on a writers’ retreat in Paris given this obtuse form of narcissism. She does it to get the attention she so desperately wants—mostly from Colin, her coworker, and a well-known figure on social media.

It also operates. Danni fabricates a false website for the writers’ retreat and uploads Photoshopped images of herself in Paris to Instagram along with charming captions about baguettes. She feels even more justified in her actions when Colin follows her.

She posts a photo of herself at the Arc de Triomphe late one night at 9 a.m. Paris time. The next morning, when she awakens, everything is in a terrible state.

How Does Danni Continue to Tell People That She Survived a Terrorist Attack?

Just a few minutes after posting her photo, at 9:13 a.m., the Arc de Triomphe was bombed in a targeted terrorist attack, according to Danni’s morning news.

A DM from Colin appears to have convinced her of her course of action as her phone starts to overflow with people worried about her safety.

Instead of admitting she was lying, Danni puts herself in more trouble. She informs her supporters that she is safe and OK after the incident. She later poses as leaving a flight from France that is returning in order to meet her parents.

When she returns to work, she’s a household name, and Depravity even gives her a platform to write about the experience.

Danni’s lack of understanding of what it takes to be a survivor and how to make her story credible is the problem. However, she finds a workaround by joining a support group for victims of bombings and shootings.

Danni obtains the celebrity she always wanted by using their trauma. She also is unwilling to let go.

Rowan Aldren: Who Is He?

Rowan Aldren, a Black high school student who gained notoriety after surviving the school shooting that claimed the life of her older sister, is a person Danni encounters at the support group.

Rowan and Danni become close, initially because of Rowan’s fame, but eventually, Danni starts to think of Rowan as her younger sister and best friend.

Rowan’s campaign to minimize gun violence draws Danni in, but she lacks the self-awareness or compassion to recognize how she is stealing from her new buddy.

Not Okay (2022) Ending Explained

In her article “I Am Not Okay,” she misrepresents her own feelings as her own by appropriating Rowan’s. Then, rather than Rowan, Danni assumes the role of the face of a movement she likens to MeToo: #IAmNotOkay.

Not Okay contrasts starkly Rowan’s persecution as a sincere activist with Danni’s elevated status. Rowan says that when the internet pays attention to her, it frequently happens such that “victims become villains.”

The phrase “The internet loves to turn villains into victims” is one that Danni mistakenly and accurately changes when she tries to repeat.

Does Harper Expose Danni’s Lies?

The good times keep rolling for Danni. That is until one of her coworkers discovers her lies.

The Depravity employee who deserved Danni’s position is painted as Harper. She is a more gifted and considerate writer. But because of her newfound fame, Danni has been forced to let her professional judgment take precedence.

Danni is seen by Harper as the fraud that she is. But rather than blowing Danni’s plan to the public’s attention—which, as she points out, would be fantastic for her career—Harper gives Danni the option to come to clean herself.

Not Okay (2022) Ending Explained

Danni then admits her lies and vows to be more truthful while writing another piece. She suddenly comprehends what people mean when they criticize others online. Danni Sanders became the most despised person on the internet when her story was made public.

Danni suddenly understands her advantages and how simple her life was previously. Like she used to seek their attention, she now craves people’s disregard for her. But it’s too late for that.

Is “Not Okay” Based on a Real Event?

Because of how directly Not Okay criticizes influencer culture and privilege, many viewers undoubtedly question if Danni Sanders is based on a genuine influencer.

No, according to filmmaker Quinn Shephard; although Danni is a made-up character, she serves as an example of a pervasive phenomenon that has been brought up in debates about trauma, privilege, and cancel culture.

In an interview with Newsweek, Shepherd claimed that Danni was “deliberately both horrible and incredibly relatable.” “I believe particularly for young white ladies online.”

Although Not Okay isn’t based on a factual story, it brazenly mocks the ways in which society privileges unreliable voices while downplaying the actual, lived sufferings of underprivileged people.

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