A new petition alleges M. Night Shyamalan’s Split should be removed from Netflix due to its portrayal of a Dissociative Identity Disorder sufferer.
A “Get Splitoff Netflix” petition is demanding the movie be removed for its portrayal of dissociative identity disorder. The film’s writer and director, M. Night Shyamalan, has been a well-known horror/sci-fi filmmaker ever since he burst on to the scene in 1999 with The Sixth Sense. However, in the years following Shyamalan’s Oscar-nominated success with The Sixth Sense, the filmmaker has acquired a bit of a cynical following. This isn’t to say his work has lost its dedicated fan base, rather that after arriving on such a high note with the very clever The Sixth Sense, many people have noticed that Shyamalan arguably hasn’t managed to match it.
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This being said, Shyamalan’s 2016 effort, Split, arrived to much acclaim and some monstrous box office success. In fact, the psychological thriller, which starred James McAvoy as a man struggling with 23 different personalities, was one of the biggest hits of Shyamalan’s lengthy career. McAvoy was praised for his portrayal of a wide range of personalities in the film and in 2019, Shyamalan returned with a sequel to Split, Glass.
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Though Glass finished off Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy, the film still hasn’t received the same degree of attention that Split did. Unfortunately for Shyamalan, however, the most recent surge in attention aimed at Split isn’t exactly for a positive reason. A tweet from user Darth Grayson has highlighted a growing petition at Change.org that demands Split be removed from Netflix. The petition’s creator, Kairos Collaborative, insists the film is harmful and insensitive to the realities of those who suffer from DID and that Split’s depiction of DID leads to the incorrect public assumption that people with the disorder are likely to be violent criminals.
At present, the petition has accrued just over thirteen hundred signatures toward its ultimate goal of fifteen hundred. Aside from simply stating the depiction of DID in Split is wrong and harmful, the petition also points to the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho as another film that misrepresents those who suffer from DID. Netflix’s willingness to continue streaming Split is also described in the petition as being key to the “heavily dehumanizing stigma” that the film offers. It seems that over the years, Hollywood has repeatedly relied on this bit of misinformation in order to create horror, suspense, and psychological thrills. The results have apparently caused many who suffer from DID to feel less than comfortable revealing their disorder to others.
While no rational person wants others to suffer for who they are or the disorders that affect them, it’s hard to believe that banning Split will change this. Furthermore, the film is a work of fiction, not fact. Nor does it ever attempt to represent itself as fact. Not everyone who watches a film like Split ends up believing people with numerous personalities are serial killers, and to assume the film does have that effect is unfair.
However, considering the number of signatures on the petition, it’s certain some fans feel otherwise. Even if Split isn’t removed from Netflix all together, it could help to have some sort of warning air ahead of the film, reiterating that it doesn’t represent the experiences of the majority of people with DID. Another option could be for Netflix and/or Shyamalan to release a statement acknowledging the petition and the hurt it has caused some who suffer from DID. However, it’s hard to know if that would satisfy those hoping for Split‘s removal from Netflix.
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About The Author
Mike Jones is an author, screenwriter, world traveller and cinephile. His work has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, and he’s also a Berlinale Talents alumnus. Cinema has always moved him in a big way and aside from having seen The Talented Mr Ripley more times than any other living person, he maintains a pretty darn healthy physical media collection. His favourite filmmakers include: Jordan Peele, David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Leigh, Steven Spielberg, the Dardenne Brothers, Noah Baumbach, Michael Haneke, Barry Jenkins and Andrea Arnold. Often jet-lagged, Mike once turned down a certain A-list celebrity’s offer to join them for a night of partying after a strange encounter in an airport.
Amanda loves writing articles related to Celebrities as she is very passionate about Movies and Entertainment. During her college days, she tried to be a Model and choose a career in Fashion and Modelling. Later after her marriage, she has to drop her thoughts of being a model and rather chose writing. Her passion for fashion and modeling probed her to chose topics related to Celebrities. Thus She writes about the celebrity News for CelebsYou.