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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is Clint Eastwood Prejudiced?

APA In Kris Hagglund's review of Million Dollar Baby, he writes, "The disability community, by and large, has been incensed by this movie. It perpetuates the stereotype that people who experience a spinal cord injury, especially one that results in tetraplegia, would rather be dead—that life isn't worth living any longer. Maggie says "I can't be like this, not after what I done. People chanted my name. I want to die before I can't hear the voices." Maggie's plea is devastatingly romantic, reminiscent of other tragedies (e.g., Romeo and Juliet). However, the simple truth of the matter is that individuals who sustain traumatic, body-altering injuries do not want to die. Filmmakers and other artists have historically and irresponsibly perpetuated this myth."

How do you feel about Maggie's decision to die rather than to continue to cope with the limitations associated with her spinal cord injury?

Read the Review
ReviewMillion Dollar Baby: An Oscar's Worth of Grit
By Kristofer J. Hagglund
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2005 Vol 50(36)


Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

While I find that stereotype irritating (I am myself a person with a disability) I do find in my caseload people who have been injured or become ill who don't 'get it' that this is not the end of life. The end of life as they know it, maybe, but the fun isn't all over by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe they react this way because the only disabilities most people have ever been exposed to are in movies and on tv, and they buy the stereotype.

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Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

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College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

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