Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve and The Case Against Disability Rights By Mary Johnson
In the spring of 2000, actor Clint Eastwood took on the 10-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act. His Mission Ranch hotel in Carmel, California, had been sued for access violations under the law, and he’d been slapped with a lawsuit he’d never seen coming, he said….
“What happens is these lawyers, they come along and they end up driving off in a big Mercedes,” Eastwood told reporters, “and the disabled person ends up driving off in a wheelchair.” In the days leading up to the hearing, Eastwood appeared on the talk shows Hardball and Crossfire; he was covered in a Fox News Special. The National Journal quoted him. Columnists covered his comments. Newsweek used the “Mercedes” quote on its “Perspectives” page. The seasoned Hollywood actor had his script and he stuck to it: He wasn’t against disabled people. He wanted to help disabled people, who were being preyed on by moneygrubbing lawyers. The law was the problem; had been all along. The law needed to be fixed. …