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More Than 20,000 People Are Boycotting 'Split' for the Way It Portrays Mental Illness

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M. Night Shyamalan’s new horror film “Split” comes out in theaters today, but more than 20,000 people won’t be seeing it, saying the film’s portrayal of mental illness and gender identity are offensive.

petition posted on Care 2, which has been signed by more than 20,000 people, asks petitioners to boycott the movie for the way it characterizes dissociative identity disorder and promotes transphobia.

In the film, James McAvoy plays a man with 24 different “split” personalities, who kidnaps girls and tortures them. During the film, McAvoy’s character also dresses up in women’s clothes.

“As both an advocate for the LGBTQ community and someone whose life has been profoundly impacted by mental illness in those close to me, I find this film and it’s subject matter impossible to support,” Sarah Rose, the petition’s author, writes. “This entire film is problematic in it’s narrative. At a time when so much attention is being paid to mental illness and gender identity, we’ve reduced both conversations to a horror movie trope.”

We want to know what you think. Is this movie scary or just insensitive? 

Related: How the New M. Night Shyamalan Movie Hurts People With Dissociative Identity Disorder

Originally published: January 21, 2017
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