Comment: This was e-mailed to me by a friend who is upset Million Dollar Baby won the Oscar. Is it true?
In 1997 Clint Eastwood was sued by a woman in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis. Diane zum Brunnen alleged that a hotel he owned in Carmel, California, didn't meet state and federal access standards for the disabled. A jury found Eastwood guilty of minor violations but refused to award zum Brunnen damages, and afterward Eastwood crusaded for a change in the Americans With Disabilities Act. He argued before Congress that business owners accused of violations deserved 90 days to bring their businesses into compliance before they could be sued. Disability rights groups maintained that this leeway would gut the act.
Now Not Dead Yet and allied groups read a very specific message into Million Dollar Baby. "Clint Eastwood is remembered by many for his national attack on the Americans With Disabilities Act," said Marcie Roth, head of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association in a statement released by the group. "I'm saddened but not surprised that he uses the powerful vehicle of film to perpetuate his view that the lives of persons with significant disabilities are not worth living."
The Not Dead Yet flyer declared, "People who actually know something about Eastwood and about disability see this movie for what it is. It's Eastwood's revenge and we will not sit by silently while ignorant reviewers further Eastwood's career on our collective backs."
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