'Incredibles 2' may cause seizures, discomfort for some with epilepsy
Disney‘s “Incredibles 2” has had the biggest opening of all time for an animated film, but with its success has also come health warnings.
Several moviegoers posted on social media in the past few days that the film may pose a risk to people with photosensitive epilepsy.
The movie features several flashing lights, which viewers said were causing discomfort for those with epilepsy, light sensitivity and other seizure-related conditions.
TO ANY FRIENDS WHO HAVE EPILEPSY, SEIZURE DISORDERS OR LIGHT SENSITIVITY: please be careful if you’re seeing The Incredibles 2. I unfortunately had an issue and don’t want this happening to anybody else ❤️
— Princess Rapunzel🌸 (@katieeemj) June 15, 2018
Just saw Incredibles 2. It was awesome! However, someone in our theater had an epileptic seizure due to some visual effects. Be safe.
— ther2dude (@ther2view) June 15, 2018
That led the U.S.-based Epilepsy Foundation to call on Disney to post warnings about the flashing lights.
“To avoid any serious medical incidents, the Epilepsy Foundation is requesting that Disney Pixar post a warning on all its digital properties, including relevant websites and social media channels, about what has been described as ‘flashing’ and ‘strobe’ lights in its ‘Incredibles 2’ movie,” the release read.
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The issue was also flagged by Veronica Lewis, a blogger who often writes about living with a vision impairment.
“After last night, I can say that the movie is unlike anything I have ever seen before, in that the villain’s weapon of choice can hurt not only characters on-screen, but can also hurt the people in the audience as well.”
Lewis added that beyond those with photosensitive epilepsy, the flashing lights may also disturb those with vision impairments, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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The blogger noted that she’s not calling for Disney to apologize or change the movie, but rather to be transparent about possible health effects.
“Families have the right to be able to make informed decisions about movies and to determine if this is safe for their children to watch,” she wrote in the now-viral post.
Global News reached out to Disney, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Several movie threatres have responded to the complaints by posting signs warning viewers of the risk.
A professor at Ohio State University in Columbus shared a photo of one such sign on Twitter.
Photosensitive epilepsy warning in the wild! (We were seeing something different today, but hope to take the boy to incredibles 2 for his first theater movie soon) pic.twitter.com/mg1a7xoSyh
— Dr. Kristin Supe (@KristinSupe) June 16, 2018
“Incredibles 2 contains a sequence of flashing lights which may affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photo sensitivities,” the sign reads.
What is photosensitive epilepsy?
According to the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance, the disorder is a “sensitivity to flashing or flickering lights.” It can lead to discomfort for many and, in some cases, seizures.
Photosensitive epilepsy most commonly affects children between the ages of eight to 20, and is fairly rare.
The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance explains on its website that fewer than five per cent of those who have epilepsy are photosensitive.