Your Opinion Needed: M. Night Shyamalan’s Controversial SPLIT

I know, I know — we’ve already talked about M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film Split twice before, and while I’m hesitant to dedicate a third blog post to the same movie when there are so many other films out there worth our time and attention, this movie and its surrounding controversy have been so prevalent in the news lately, it only seems appropriate to bring Split back into the discussion.


There have been so many drastically different reactions to this film, and–personally speaking–I have seen a variety of different responses just among my personal group of friends. People I know who are very sensitive to and respectful of mental health issues have loved the film, others who never seem offended by anything have hated it. There seems to be no real consensus about whether Split is a responsible portrayal of dissociative identity disorder, or whether M. Night Shyamalan is simply exploiting mental illness to sell tickets.

A petition was posted on Care 2 calling for a boycott of Split due to its “backwards representations” of dissociative identity disorder and gender identity (many claim that Split promotes transphobia, as the male main character–the film’s villain–dresses in women’s clothing). Over 22,000 people have signed the petition, and many mental health professionals have come forward to condemn the film. But just as many reviewers and film buffs are claiming that Split is a great film, and simply (and innocently) uses dissociative identity disorder to tell a story.

Just to give you an idea of the wild different reactions to Split, let’s take a look at some of the headlines it has inspired:

‘Split’ review: M. Night Shyamalan achieves greatness again

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is Exploitative Trash

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split Is a Creepy, Guilty Pleasure

Open Letter to M. Night Shyamalan: ‘Split’ Perpetuates Stereotypes About People with Dissociative Identity Disorder 

Shyamalan’s Split is Still #1 at the Box Office

Split is the latest horror film to misunderstand why mental illness is terrifying

The general stance on Split has been, well, split, to say the least. But the point of today’s post isn’t to talk about those opinions, it’s to talk about your opinion. Split’s box office numbers make it likely that many of our readers have seen it, and if you’re one of our readers, then you’re obviously [smart, beautiful, funny, fabulous] concerned with mental health issues and aware of the dangers that come along with exploitative portrayals in film and the media.

That’s the long way of saying WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Have you seen Split? What did you think? Worthwhile art or another lazy sensationalization of mental illness? Tell us all about it in the comments!

All content on Art With Impact is available to all, free of charge and without ads. If articles like this are valuable to you, please consider supporting Art With Impact.
This matters!