Why Twitter Users Hijacked The #LiveBoldly Campaign From Me Before You

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff.
Warning: This post contains spoilers about the end of the film Me Before You.

What is meant to be a love story about living life to the fullest is on its way to being remembered as a film that failed at offering a fair portrayal of someone living with a disability.

Me Before You is headlined by two stars you will definitely recognize, Sam Claflin of The Hunger Games movie franchise and Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones. The film won't be released nationwide until June 3, but some people have had the opportunity to see it, and the ending of the film has been revealed.

In the final scene, Will Traynor (Claflin), who is paralyzed after an accident and falls in love with his caregiver, Louisa Clarke (Clarke), decides to end his life at an assisted suicide facility. A tearjerker ending indeed. But why does Claflin's character have to die? This is the question being posed on the internet. People are looking for answers as to why disabled characters are so often handed the most depressing plot lines in films.

As Emily Ladau at Salon points out, film portrayals like these of disabled characters are not uncommon. She notes that in Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks' character only feels freedom when he breaks out of his leg braces. At that point, he is ready to live life to the fullest. The same message comes across in Million Dollar Baby. As Ladau explains, when Hillary Swank's character Maggie "becomes a quadriplegic following an injury sustained during a match, the movie does not convey that life goes on. Instead, Maggie becomes desperate to die, begging for assistance to commit suicide. Maggie transforms from inspirational figure to victim, leading viewers to sadness and pity."

Almost ironically, Me Before You has also started a using the hashtag #LiveBoldly on Twitter, to encourage fans and followers to tweet messages about their own life journeys. But now, users have hijacked the #LiveBoldly hashtag to criticize the movie's representation of disability.
Many are responding to tweets like the one below, sent out from the movie's own account.


Here are the reactions flooding Twitter. Two new hashtags have also been initiated to counteract #LiveBoldly — #MeBeforeAbelism and #MeBeforeEuthanasia.

Me Before You
come outs June 3.

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