Life is worth living, disability rights activists claim in protest against the film 'Me Before You'
June 3, 2016 6:38 PM
Brenda Dare & Kate Blaker protest outside of AMC Loews Waterfront Theater in Homestead.
By Alexis Book / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A dozen disability rights advocates gathered outside of AMC Loews Waterfront Theater in Homestead earlier today to protest how a character with quadriplegia is portrayed in the new movie “Me Before You.”
Activists from Southwest PA ADAPT and Find Some Flow held up signs reading “Me Before Ableism” and “Me Before Euthanasia,” joining protests held at theaters around the country.
Local protest organizer Brenda Dare said the group was not there to deter people from seeing the movie, but to start a discussion about how the media portrays people with disabilities.
“Me Before You” has been assailed by disability rights advocates since the book of the same title was released in 2012. The romantic drama starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke tells the love story of Will, a successful and wealthy man who is paralyzed after a motorcycle accident (Claflin), and his caretaker, Lou (Clarke). Despite the couple’s undeniable chemistry, Will decides that since he is no longer able-bodied, his life is not worth living and he seeks an assisted-suicide. Critics of the film claim that the underlying message of the movie is that people with disabilities are incapable of having a life worth living.
Mrs. Dare and fellow protesters said they were offended by the movie’s message and came to start a discussion with moviegoers and to prove that they were examples of how all people with disabilities have lives worth living.
“By us being here it shows that we are leaders in our communities and that we can make a difference,” Mrs. Dare said.
Ian Neumaier, founder and director of Find Some Flow — a local organization that aims to integrate communities through the invention of inclusive games, gear and play spaces — said he joined the protest as an ally to the disabled community.
“I want to dismantle the idea that the disabled life is the least valuable experience that there is,” said Mr. Neumaier.
Alexis Book: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1889
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