Petition to Remove M. Night Shyamalan’s Split from Netflix

Posted on 23 June 2020
By Dana Andersen
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In the wake of The Mighty Boosh, and The League of Gentlemen, both being booted off of streaming sites, a petition has begun making the rounds, calling for Split to be similarly removed. A social media campaign is pushing the call, using the hashtag #GetSplitOffNetflix, which has now spread world wide, despite the fact that Split is not currently on Netflix in the US.

Those who support the campaign, and petition, say that the movie misrepresents the way DID, or dissociative identity disorder, works in real life, giving viewers a swayed, and inaccurate view of how it affects those who actually suffer from the mental health disorder.

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the movie is a sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable. James McAvoy stars as the main character, a man suffering with DID, who has 24 different personalities. The character is often frightening, sometimes has inhuman qualities, and criminal tendencies, a terrible representation of a very real mental health issue.

Although the movie met widespread mainstream success, pockets of mental health advocates, and sufferers, have been criticising it since the release. The 2019 follow up, Glass, also did well.

One twitter user, using the hashtag in support of the campaign, explained ‘Split is a very bad representation of DID. It makes us look bad and dangerous, even though we are obviously not. Split is on Netflix, and should be removed to prevent any further misinformation.’

Another user spoke out, also with the hashtag, saying ‘We are tired of being dehumanised and alienated. This representation is insulting, and only succeeds in adding stigma to an already misunderstood disorder.’, ending the tweet by prompting people to sign the petition.

There is backlash to the campaign though, both through the usual internet troll responses, and those trying to have a little more tact. One twitter user against the campaign wrote ‘I know this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but i respect people with DID and still love this movie in its own way. Maybe petition for a disclaimer that the movie doesn’t represent people with DID and such. It’s cringe a bit yes, but I still like the movie.’, while another had the in-depth response of ‘Yo, its a movie. Not real life.’.

Although it may be hard to accept a movie you like has had a negative impact on someone else, it’s time to start listening to minorities who say the way they’re being treated or represented is not okay. Perhaps this petition will make a difference for someone who is affected by, or knows someone with DID, and maybe more awareness of representation can be taken into consideration in future media.