Here we are, in only the second week of 2017, and the movie industry is already going strong with stereotyping mental illnesses. M. Night Shyamalan has written and directed the movie "Split," starring James McAvoy as Kevin, a kidnapper with 24 distinct personalities.
Are you serious, Shyamalan? We still haven't forgiven you for the disaster you dared to call "The Last Airbender." Did you honestly think we'd appreciate the blatant disrespect for people with mental illness?
The specific illness displayed by Kevin is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID; formerly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder). Those with DID may feel as if one or more voices are trying to take control within their head. These identities often have unique names, characteristics, mannerisms, and voices. Onset for the full disorder (which can include gaps in memory of: every day events, personal information, and trauma) can happen at any age. However, it is more likely to occur in people who have experienced severe ongoing trauma before the age of five.
So what did Hollywood do with this information? Clearly nothing right. Instead, they turned the character with DID into a violent, deranged kidnapper holding three teenage girls hostage. Hell, even the poster does all it can to paint Kevin as a sort of monster:
"The 24th is about to be unleashed."? What are you trying to say, Shyamalan? That people with mental illnesses are just beasts waiting to be released from their cages? There are enough stigmas surrounding mental illness, so of course it only makes sense that Hollywood would use their influence to further these stigmas rather than fight them.
Personally, I'll be saving both my time and my money by steering clear of this film. There is nothing entertaining about mental illness, nor is there anything remotely acceptable with portraying mental illnesses as criminalistic traits.