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How 'Grease' became a victim of cancel culture during Oliva Newton-John's battle with cancer

Grease had fallen victim to the “cancellation culture” because her star Olivia Newton-John was battling cancer – but she repeatedly defended the film before her tragic death.

Students between the ages of 7 and 10 from Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) and Scotch College in Perth decided not to participate in the play after girls thought it was offensive and anti-feminist.

It was set to be performed at the beginning of the year, just months before the tragic death of Olivia Newton-John, who starred in the 1978 classic alongside John Travolta.

The Australian singer died Monday morning surrounded by family at her Southern California home after a long battle with breast cancer.

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the iconic 1978 film Grease that catapulted her career.  He was one of the first to pay her tribute on Monday

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the iconic 1978 film Grease that catapulted her career. He was one of the first to pay her tribute on Monday

Students aged 7 to 10 from Presbyterian Ladies' College and Scotch College in Perth decided not to participate in the play after girls thought it was offensive and anti-feminist

Students aged 7 to 10 from Presbyterian Ladies' College and Scotch College in Perth decided not to participate in the play after girls thought it was offensive and anti-feminist

Students aged 7 to 10 from Presbyterian Ladies’ College and Scotch College in Perth decided not to participate in the play after girls thought it was offensive and anti-feminist

Last November, PLC Director Cate Begbie and Scotch College Acting Headmaster Peter Burt released a joint statement regarding their decision to cancel the musical.

‘A number of PLC students expressed concerns about whether the musical was appropriate in modern times’, it read.

“Scotch College respectfully listened to the girls’ concerns and both schools agreed that another musical would be better suited for their joint production in 2022.”

Olivia Newton-John is most famous for her famous role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease (pictured, Newton-John with Grease co-star John Travolta)

Olivia Newton-John is most famous for her famous role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease (pictured, Newton-John with Grease co-star John Travolta)

Olivia Newton-John is most famous for her famous role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease (pictured, Newton-John with Grease co-star John Travolta)

Fans left flowers and photos on Newton-John's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (above) after she passed away Monday morning

Fans left flowers and photos on Newton-John's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (above) after she passed away Monday morning

Fans left flowers and photos on Newton-John’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (above) after she passed away Monday morning

Sunrise reported that the girls at PLC told the teachers they found Grease “offensive, sexist and anti-feminist” and refused to participate.

“They can’t attract Mary Poppins because she’s disciplining the kids. Sound of Music, you know, does it give a good picture of a blended family?’ co-host Edwina Bartholomew early on the program last year.

“What do they decide on?” replied David Koch.

“I don’t know, The Book of Mormon?” Bartholomew joked.

Newton-John has repeatedly defended the film in her recent interviews, saying that people shouldn’t take the film “too seriously.”

‘I think it’s a little crazy. I mean, this movie was made in the ’70s about the ’50s,” she said.

‘It was a play, it’s a musical, it’s fun. It’s a fun movie musical, not to be taken so seriously.

“We need to relax a bit and enjoy things as they are. I didn’t see it that way at all, I think it’s a nice film that entertains people.’

Just days before her death, Olivia Newton-John posted a heartwarming throwback photo to Instagram along with her husband John Easterling

Just days before her death, Olivia Newton-John posted a heartwarming throwback photo to Instagram along with her husband John Easterling

Just days before her death, Olivia Newton-John posted a heartwarming throwback photo to Instagram along with her husband John Easterling

1660017698 999 How 039Grease039 became a victim of cancel culture during Oliva

1660017698 999 How 039Grease039 became a victim of cancel culture during Oliva

Grease co-star John Travolta was one of the first to pay tribute to Newton-John who wrote “your Danny, your John” below a photo (above) of the star

Grease was also broadcast on free-to-air TV in the UK earlier this year, with the showing also garnering angry reactions from viewers.

Many said the film didn’t age well, accusing it of “misogyny,” “rape,” and believing it encouraged “slut-shaming.”

Newton-John said in a 2020 interview that she believed it radiated a strong feminine character that was relevant in today’s society.

‘It’s a movie. It’s a 1950s story where things were different,” she said of the critique.

“Everyone forgets that he eventually changes for her too. There’s nothing deep in the #MeToo movement.”

The Australian icon lost her battle with breast cancer on Monday morning, surrounded by her husband John Easterling and other close friends and family.

Easterling revealed that the actress’s latest request was to make donations to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, “instead of flowers.”

The foundation funds research into plant medicine and holistic treatments for cancer.

Newton-John's husband John Easterling (right) broke the news of her death on Monday by sharing a post on her Facebook page

Newton-John's husband John Easterling (right) broke the news of her death on Monday by sharing a post on her Facebook page

Newton-John’s husband John Easterling (right) broke the news of her death on Monday by sharing a post on her Facebook page

Newton-John’s battle with breast cancer began in 1992, when she was only 44 years old.

She was very open about her diagnosis and treatment, including the famous use of medicinal marijuana. Her cancer returned in 2013 and again in 2017.

Newton-John and Easterling met during an ayahuasca retreat in Peru.

One of the star’s first high-profile friends to pay tribute was her Grease colleague John Travolta.

“My dear Olivia, you have made our whole life so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We’ll see you on the road and we’ll all be together again,” he wrote in an Instagram post alongside a photo of Newton-John.

‘Your from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!’

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