Congratulations! You were casted as the superhero; the white man who saves the day yet again. But that’s not all, you were casted as the villain; the sinister evil that the audience should be afraid. But truly you were not casted as a villain or superhero, Mommy made up those illusions so you could feel normal. Truly you were casted as yourself. America’s greatest fear. The 1 in 25 who are mentally ill. The poster child for sympathy and the face of pure monstrosity. Now tell me why are we congratulating you again?
Simply because yet another movie makes millions at the expense of mental illness misrepresentation.
Split is not the only movie to recognize America’s fetish for mental illness as form as atrocious evil. Movies like Psycho, Silence of the lambs, and Freud 101 all realize Hollywood’s exotic fetish is one that will continue to produce millions as long as mental illness are presented as a terrifyingly monstrous reality that we all must burden.
The movie Split takes one step further not only does it use the stigma towards mental illness, the main character morphs into an inhuman monster, capable of cannibalism and super strength. This fetish becomes a whole lot darker(fifty shades darker) when people dissociative identity disorder are seen eating young girls who are pure.
Imagine if you were the 1.1% of Americans who identified with Kevin who was depicted as a cannibalistic evil, named The Hoard. Your mental disorder is now a brand for complete evil and monstrosity. Although it was a sense of complete entertainment and rave
review by America. Only 41% of Americans actually seek help for their mental disorders because they are afraid of the discrimination that comes with the diagnosis. They now have the live with the thought that you are in human, a monster.
This movie does bring publicity to the mental disorder, but reduces an entire community’s illness as an even greater source of discrimination; fueling America’s stigmatization of those who are diagnosed with dissociative mental disorder and similar disorders. If this movie were to actually bringing awareness to the disorder that many people are burdened with, it would not have ended with the development of a villain who capable to withstand bullets and morph into three malicious beings.
Movies like this should serve as a reminder that some people are burden with mental illness, but the stigma of these illness caused much more discrimination and pain than just the diagnosis. Hollywood directors should not stop focusing on America’s inherent fascination with mental illness but should focus its energy on promoting awareness not discrimination.