Calm down, ‘Split’ is just a movie

As part of their mission to keep students entertained, Campus Activities Board offers Movie Nights. They even allow students to vote on which movie they should play next. One of the movies they have offered recently is “Split.” This is a movie about a man who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder.The main character abducts three young ladies with the intent to kill them. Personally, I find this to be a rather intriguing movie idea. However, others feel that this movie “stigmatizes mental illness” and are upset with CAB for offering it. I have three issues with this.

First, they do not advertise this as a documentary. Therefore, do not take it as such. To say “Split” stigmatizes mental illness is like saying “Paranormal Activity” stigmatizes the supernatural. Movies are fiction. As people intelligent enough to be in college, surely we are intelligent enough to realize this as well. Right? We know movies are meant to be entertaining, not educational. Right? We know how to distinguish fact from fiction. Right? One can only hope. Well, if you were not yet aware of this fundamental concept, you learn something new every day. Right? 

Second, CAB is not to blame for the weird fascinations of America. CAB offers popular movies for students to vote on. They did not choose what movies would be popular. If you wish to be upset with someone, be upset with every individual that has watched and liked this movie. If that is too macro for your liking though, simply shake your finger at any student who chooses to vote for it. My point is CAB is not to blame. Do not shoot the messenger.

Last, why would you complain or protest this? Why would you get angry and offended by this misleading form of entertainment and aim to shut it down? I understand being upset with the radical portrayal of a very serious, very real mental illness. I understand wishing people were more informed about mental illness and how those around us are affected by it. However, that is exactly why I do not understand complaining to CAB about how repulsive they are for offering such a film. This line of thought does not foster understanding. This line of thought does not explain the negative stigma. This line of thought offers no beneficial value to campus, movies or society as a whole. Why not view this as an educational opportunity? Why not use this as a chance to inform the masses properly about mental illness? After watching the movie, people will temporarily have a heightened interest in mental disorders, especially DID, so set up outside the theater to tell people the truth about DID and other mental illnesses. 

Of all the things to complain about, why this? There are so many abhorring things going on in the world today that we, as individuals, can do nothing about, so we just tweet our frustrations instead. Yet when there is an issue such as this, that we can easily make into something benign and productive, we choose to stagnate by complaining. I hope students pick this movie, I hope CAB plays it and I hope the viewers will educate themselves on mental illness rather than accept events of a horror movie as judicial. I am no expert, but I have done my research on DID. Will you?