Missing the mark
toronto — the Canadian epilepsy alliance is taking issue with the recently released netflix film the after party over its portrayal of people who experience seizures.
the film’s main character owen (played by the rapper Kyle, real name Kyle Harvey) is an aspiring rapper who goes viral on social media after he has a seizure during a performance. He’s nicknamed “seizure boy” and the other characters make fun of him.
“the portrayal of seizures in this film is inaccurate and portrays those living with seizures in a negative way,” said deirdre Floyd, president of the advocacy organization for people with the neurological disorder.
any depiction in a film that mocks a seizure disorder or makes all seizures look the same sets back the work of the alliance to provide correct information about epilepsy, she said.
the group’s mission is to educate the public about the various types of seizures and the appropriate first aid for each of them, said Floyd, who has sent a letter to California-based netflix, saying the portrayal of epilepsy in the film causes damage to those with seizures who “try to lead as normal a life as possible every day.”
“individuals that have epilepsy often suffer from low self-esteem because they have been mocked in school, (the) workplace, as well as in social settings,” she writes to netflix Ceo reed Hastings. “Quite often, the attitude of others around them causes more harm than the actual seizure.”
the biggest concern is that the film sends the message that “it’s oK to potentially bully people or make fun of them, not taking into account that it’s a medical condition,” she said thursday from Halifax.
netflix representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.
Floyd suggested netflix should put a warning at the beginning of the film’s trailer that some viewers may find the content offensive, or make a contribution to her organization to help it spread the correct information about epilepsy, which affects an estimated 260,000 Canadians and 50 million people worldwide.