A lady from Rochdale who has Mosaic Down Syndrome explains “This is what society does to someone who is different”

Claire May Minett, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester is petitioning about a film called ‘Freaks’. Claire is an active campaigner and advocate for people with Down Syndrome, alongside being a self advocate for the International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association and an ambassador for East Lancashire Down Syndrome Down Syndrome Group and Wouldn’t Change A Thing. A keen journalist for Making Chromosomes Count, Claire has her finger on the pulse of the Down Syndrome Community.

‘Freaks’ is directed by Zach Lipovski. Claire describes the plot as centring around a female character who exhibits mind control powers, but does not intend to hurt anyone with them. Yet, because she is different she is branded a ‘freak’ and encounters people who are determined to get rid of her.

Claire states: “I watched it recently and found that I was very uncomfortable. It brought back very emotional memories.”
As someone who has experienced prejudice in her life, Claire is determined to raise awareness about how this film has affected her with its reflection of how she has been treated. “This is what society does to someone who is different.” Raising alarm that the film is suggesting ways in which to abuse people who seem different, Claire is deeply concerned about normalising this behaviour and fears that people may copy behaviours exhibited.

Our society should be inclusive and welcoming in 2020. Claire believes that the treatment demonstrated in the film “is so wrong in the eyes of today’s modern world.” Differences are what make us interesting and unique. They should be celebrated, not highlighted as something negative.

Claire feels strongly that “the name of the show and content needs to be changed. ‘Freak’ is not a nice word and I’ve been called it quite a lot in my youth. It’s a horrible word to call someone.” Use of the word makes Claire feel “worthless”. And Claire is not the only person to feel this way. The film has triggered an emotional response in many others who have been on the receiving end of bullying and prejudice over the course of their lives.

Claire now has a live petition running to call for the title of the film and content to be changed. If you would like to support Claire in this please do follow the link provided to lend your voice to her campaign by signing her petition here.


It’s time to #RaiseYourStandards


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