by Dominick Evans, Storify, 24 May 2016
Me Before You is a movie due to be released internationally on 3 June 2016. Based on the book by Jojo Moyes, it tells the story of Will, a quadraplegic man, who falls in love with Louisa, his caregiver. Will commits suicide so that Louise can have financial freedom and a better life.
Predictably (although not apparently foreseen by the movie’s producers, actors and publicists) the film has generated outrage from real people with real disabilities. They see its storyline as reinforcing multiple negative stereotypes of what it is to live with a disability, and conveying the idea that it is better to be dead than disabled. They also object to the casting of an able-bodied actor in the lead role when disabled actors are massively under-employed.
Mr Evans reports on what happened when Sam Claflin, the actor playing Will, held a Twitter Chat to promote the movie.
These messages include:
Disabled people cannot have healthy, intimate relationships
Disabled people’s deaths benefit non-disabled people
- Disabled people are better dead than disabled
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