Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Press Release from Not Dead Yet:

Disability Activists Call Chicago Movie Critics: Million
Dollar Bigots

January 19, 2005 @ 6:00 p.m., 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago

Chicago disability activists will be protesting the bigotry
and ignorance of the members of the Chicago Film Critics
Association (CFCA). Virtually every critic in the
association gave a rave review to Clint Eastwood's Million
Dollar Baby, a film that promotes the killing of disabled
people as the solution to the problem of disability.

On Wednesday, January 19th, activists will picket and
distribute protest leaflets outside of the Union League
Club of Chicago. Attendees at the CFCA event will be met by
activists from the Chicago disability rights community,
protesting the bigotry and ignorance of Chicago movie
critics. Ignorance and bigotry are the only explanations
for the universal adoration expressed for a movie that is
being called a corny, melodramatic assault on people with
disabilities by one reviewer in the disability community.

Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, has named it the
number one movie of 2004. In fact, he seems to find new
opportunities to promote the movie every couple of days.
His TV partner, Richard Roeper, also gave the film an
enthusiastic thumbs up.

But like we said, they're not alone. Michael Wilmington of
the Chicago Tribune gave it 4/4 stars.

The vast majority of critics talk about the surprise ending
without telling their readers and viewers what it is. It's
simple: the surprise is that a young woman boxing star
becomes disabled, and Eastwood's character (in a painful,
self-sacrificing gesture), kills her.

Its a pro-euthanasia movie. But they don't want you to go
in expecting that to be the main message. But it's the
romanticized killing at the end that makes the movie for
most of the critics.

We feel it's no coincidence that Eastwood is also a staunch
opponent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He's
been sued - and lost - under the act in regard to a resort
he owns. After his loss in the courts, he engaged in a
legislative campaign to weaken the ADA, even giving
testimony in Congress. His face is on the cover of a book
on ADA backlash called "Make Them Go Away." This film
appears to be his revenge on our community.

Suppose instead Eastwood had been an active opponent of the
civil rights of any minority other than people with
disabilities. Suppose he'd been sued for race or gender
discrimination at his resort instead of disability
discrimination. And then suppose he'd made a movie
manipulating the audience to sympathize with someone who
killed a member of that group. We suspect the reactions of
critics across the country would have been, pardon the
expression, critical.

Not Dead Yet
7521 Madison St.
Forest Park, IL 60130

Contact: Diane Coleman or Stephen Drake
(708)209-1500; (708)420-0539 (cell)

For more detailed analysis of the movie and its reviews, go


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