The new film Me Before You starring Hunger Games actor Sam Claflin and Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke has come under fire by disability campaigners for alleged “misrepresentation” of people with disabilities.
In the film, Claflin’s character, banker Will Traynor, becomes a person with quadriplegia after an accident and falls in love with his carer Lu, played by Clarke. At the end of the film, he decides to commit suicide.
A promotional tweet for the film was sent with the hashtag #LiveBoldly.
Disability group Not Dead Yet UK, who has campaigned against an ultimately unsuccessful bill that would’ve allowed assisted suicide, criticised the movie with a statement.
“The latest blockbuster to come out of Hollywood called ‘Me Before You’ is seen as a gross misrepresentation of the lived experience of most disabled people,” it said. “Not Dead Yet UK is deeply concerned to see yet another film which casts non-disabled people as disabled people and shows the lives of disabled people as not worth living.”
On Wednesday, activists of the group protested at the film premiere in London, holding a banner accusing it of being a “disability snuff movie.”
Clarke told the Guardian that it was “never our intention” for the film to devalue people with disabilities.
People living with disabilities took to Twitter to criticise the film with #LiveBoldly:
Every day disabled people #LiveBoldly by fighting the message better dead than disabled
— Dominick Evans (@dominickevans) May 23, 2016
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