A new petition on Change.org is gathering traction in an attempt to ‘Get Split off Netflix’. The reason for the petition is because Split unfairly portrays people with dissociative identity disorder as predators and villains.
Dissociative Identity Disorder
The petition explains that dissociative identity disorder (DID) is ‘a coping mechanism developed in response to intense, repetitive childhood trauma. This disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more personality states, or alters. The disruption in identity involves marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning.’
Split was released back in 2016, with a sequel called Glass dropping last year. Both were written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who began the trilogy with Unbreakable, in 2000. Split received good reviews on arrival and did well at the box office.
The film is a psychological thriller that focused on a man who kidnaps and imprisons girls. James McAvoy plays the main role and his character battles with 24 different personalities. McAvoy’s performance and handling of the many identities was also praised.
However, the petition claims that Split ‘inaccurately represents the disorder in many ways; over-exaggerating the rarity of the disorder, insinuating that those impacted are capable of complete physical metamorphosis, and, most importantly, highlighting the false stigma created in Hollywood, introduced by films like Psycho, that people with DID are more likely to be violent, or will in some way inflict harm onto others’.
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Kairos Collaborative, who is running the petition, further explains the damage caused by the misrepresentation: ‘The issue with these depictions, especially with ones as violent as Split, is that they act as many people’s first, and often only exposure to people with dissociative identity disorder. Endless stories pour from the DID community of stigma that this film alone has created within their lives…Those with DID fear opening up to their peers about the struggles that their disorder causes within them, due to the stigma Split has brought surround DID into popular culture’.
The petition, at the time of writing, has gathered over 1500 signatures. The aim is to get Split removed from Netflix. Due to streaming rights, Split doesn’t currently air in the US or the UK, but is available in other territories.