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The film's working title was The Love Polluters. David E. Durston's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by." Although the closing credits include a 1972 copyright statement for The Stigma Company, the film was not registered for copyright. The opening credits are preceded by a short sequence showing "Dr. Calvin Crosse," just released from jail, wandering into a New York City bar and fighting with a drunken "B-girl." The educational film within the film includes graphic images of people suffering from syphilis.
As noted in contemporary sources, the film was shot in and around Gloucester, MA. Stigma marked the first starring role for Philip Michael Thomas, who was billed onscreen as Philip M. Thomas, and had previously appeared in a small role in the 1972 film Come Back, Charleston Blue. Thomas went on to play "Det. Ricardo Tubbs" in the popular television series Miami Vice (NBC, 1984-1990). New York radio deejay "Cousin" Bruce Morrow made his feature-film debut in Stigma.
At the August 18, 1972 premiere in New York City, members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) picketed to protest the filmmakers' failure to shoot within the union's jurisdiction. As a result, as reported in an August 1972 Variety article, producer Charles B. Moss, Jr. settled with SAG by paying union scale to the performers and fining several of the actors in the cast who belonged to the union.