Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mozart and Stereotypes

Four months ago my Dad gave me a call because he had read my blog on Brian's love affair with our new front-loading washing machine and it had reminded him about a movie he had recently caught on one of the movie channels- Mozart and the Whale. I added it to my Netflix queue, but kept putting other movies ahead of it in the listing.

I noticed it was being mailed and it had been so long since my Dad recommended it that I went to look at the reviews other Netflix subscribers had posted. I was happy to see so many parents of kids with ASD posting reviews that they really enjoyed the movie and that Josh Hartnett did a wonderful job portraying his character.

Then I got to a review that said:

"I just don't believe Josh Harnett as this type of character. Can we please get someone a little less fantastically hot to play this role? It's not that the acting was bad, it's just not believable to have these impossibly beautiful people playing these roles."

I made some kind of weird noise from the back of my throat when I read this. Josh even looked up from his crossword puzzle to see what was wrong with me.

Do people really think like that? The comment made me feel like I was in an earlier era. I know sometimes I run into some really stupid stereotypes still but for the most part I thought the stigma and completely incorrect information had started to slip away and that society as a whole was becoming more aware.

Sometimes I think people say things like this because they think it's comedic. Maybe they don't truly believe that an individual with ASD can't be completely beautiful but they think it's funny to say it. It's really not funny. As a parent of an absolutely gorgeous little boy with ASD it hurt me to read this and it angered me. And I'm just a parent, I couldn't imagine how I'd feel if I, myself, had ASD and read that.

Despite my rage over the review, I do want to say the movie was wonderful! It was nice seeing different levels of Aspergers/Autism being shown and I thought Josh Hartnett did a wonderful job. I'm not as familiar with higher-functioning autism but Josh & I kept saying to eachother, "Ha! Remember when Brian did that!" or "If Brian could talk, that is exactly what he would say!!". I highly recommend the movie!


Christina said...

I feel so sad for that person. Terrible! I'll have to check the movie out!

Christina said...

I feel so sad for that person. Terrible! I'll have to check the movie out!