#BoycottMeBeforeYou: New Film Spreads Message that Disabled Lives Are Not Worth Living
Boycott anti-disability film Me Before You
The film Me Before You is set to be released this Friday, June 3rd. The film follows a romance between two of its characters, one of whom eventually ends his life at a suicide clinic because he does not want to live as a quadriplegic.
Liz Carr, a disability rights activist at Not Dead Yet UK, explains the terrible message of this story: “if you’re a disabled person, you’re better off dead”.
Whether or not the filmmakers intended this message, it is certainly there. This is where the “right to die” (i.e. the right to be killed) movement leads.
Films like this, which juxtapose the wonderful life the disabled person once lived, when he was not disabled, with the difficult life he now lives, create a negative portrayal of disability and contribute to the view that life under conditions of severe disability is not worth living. Me Before You, and the larger movement that inspired the movie, ignore the inherent dignity and beauty of human life, regardless of disability.
Campaigners who favor assisted suicide focus on ‘autonomy’ and ‘choice’, but choices always exist in a social context. The prejudiced view against the lives of disabled people in this film is also the view of too many people in society. The soft bigotry of low expectations and societal pressure influence the ‘choice’ to commit suicide.
There are sharp disagreements on this issue, and this issue personally affects many of us, but Not Dead Yet and other disability advocacy groups are right to recognise the danger inherent in this film and the message it sends.
All persons have inherent dignity and rights and it is a tragedy whenever an individual, disabled or not, fails to recognise that dignity.
The wish to commit suicide should not be met with encouragement or submission – it should be met with assistance to overcome the obstacles that the person faces. People who are contemplating suicide should be assisted to live, not to die.
Please sign this petition asking Warner Brothers, the producers of this film, to apologize for the offence they have caused to many disabled persons who recognise their own value and do not want to be killed.
Warner Brothers should publicly state that they do not endorse suicide.
Use the hashtag #BoycottMeBeforeYou when you share this petition!
Not Dead Yet UK protesting at the premiere of Me Before You - https://www.facebook.com/notdeadyetuk/videos/769421283194386/