Sunday, February 4, 2007

Eastwood & the Humanitarian Award

Something that I have noticed has been ignored by the disabled community lately (possibly because it's not been well publicized) is the fact that Clint Eastwood will be the first recipient of the Motion Picture Association of America's Jack Valenti Humanitarian Award. The head of the MPAA, Don Glickman, has been quoted in this BBC Article as saying that Eastwood has shown "decency and goodness of spirit" in his movie making. Obviously, Glickman must not be disabled. Or is committing suicide if you have a severe disability decent as one might surmise from Million Dollar Baby a decent thing to do?

Also, in my mind, to receive a humanitarian award, it should be not only inside your field, but outside as well. When I received my high school's humanitarian award, it had at least as much to do with things I had done with no affiliation to the school at all as it did for things I did at the school or through the school. This brings me, again, back to Eastwood. His track record when it comes to disability rights leaves more than a little to be desired. There is, of course, the fact that in 2000 he fought heavily when his Mission Ranch resort was sued for ADA violations. Somehow he claimed he hadn't known that things were in violation. The ADA had been around for almost 10 years at that point; one could have thought to check for them at some point during that time. In fact, according to the ADA, one was required to.

I'm not saying that Eastwood hasn't done good things. His recent word regarding Iwo Jima is supposed to be superb, but I see humanitarian awards as something that should be given to people who are general humanitarians, not just where they can pick and choose. Until he shows to me that he believes that all people are humans, I will not count him as a legitimate humanitarian award winner.


Penny L. Richards said...

Thanks for the heads up, I posted about this at DS,TU and linked here. You're exactly right--"humanitarian" should mean a higher standard.

Wheeled Traveler said...

What really surprised me is that I found out about this maybe Thursday night (from E! of all places) and by the time I got around to blogging about it, I still couldn't find any sort of information that suggested to me that the disabled community had any awareness of Eastwood's receiving the award. I was just starting to be aware of the DRM and really started to feel the connection and want to get involved when Million Dollar Baby came out so to not see things about this at places such as Ragged Edge, shocked me.

Anonymous said...

I think Ragged Edge is semi-retired now.