On September 18th, more than 40 writers, activists, artists, filmmakers, physicians, and scientists came together to write an open letter to Netflix to request that Afflicted be immediately removed from the service.
“We are deeply concerned about its unethical treatment of its subjects and its many factual errors and omissions,” states the letter. “Its inclusion on your platform — which reaches three hundred million viewers worldwide — will reinforce barriers to appropriate medical care or disability benefits, dampen the support of vital research, and add to the stigma and social isolation of an already profoundly marginalized group of people.
Signers include: #MEAction and Unrest director, Jen Brea; Nobel Laureate, Mario Capecchi; Actress, Lena Dunham; Anti-bullying Advocate, Monica Lewinksy; Researcher, Ron Davis; Designer, Ally Hillfiger; Disability rights advocates, Laurence Carter- Long and Judy Heumann; and many more.
Newspapers around the world have already begun reporting on the open letter demand to remove Afflicted from Netflix. Read the Los Angeles Time’s article. Read The Guardian article. Read the Huffington Post article. Read the Pop Culture article. Read the Daily Mail article.
#MEAction shares the deep concern about the unethical treatment of the Afflicted subjects, and the docuseries’ many factual errors and omissions.
We are alarmed that the producers violated the trust of the subjects and misrepresented their diseases for the entertainment value of presenting the subjects as “curiosities” to its audience.
We are deeply disappointed that the producers did not take the opportunity to delve into the truth of these diseases, as documented by the medical literature and patient experience, and, instead, chose to contribute to the stigmatization and shaming of people with ME, Lyme disease and mold and chemical sensitivities.
Read the full letter here:READ THE LETTER
Sign #MEAction’s petition to endorse the letter yourself:SIGN THE PETITION
* Featured photo shows individuals whose stories were misrepresented in Netflix’s Afflicted docuseries (left to right): Jake, Pilar, Jamison, Jake & Bekah, Jill & Janine.
NOTE: The open letter with original signatures is seven pages. The petition text is an excerpt of the open letter. The letter’s concluding paragraph, which demands the removal of Afflicted, has been moved to the top of the petition for clarity. You are encouraged to read the full text of the letter.