When esteemed physicist Stephen Hawking passed away last week, numerous celebrities paid their respects via social media. Most of them lauded Hawking’s many accomplishments during his life time. “Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot posted a meaningful tribute on Twitter as well only to be torn down by those who called her an “Ableist.”
“Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you’re free of any physical constraints. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever,” Gadot tweeted. The tweet would be taken as just another kind-hearted gesture, right?
Wrong. Instead, some felt it was their responsibility to defend a man they never met and who could not possibly understood the physical constraints of his condition. Godot had hundreds of angry people calling her out for discriminating against people who are disabled.
Many argued that Hawking had no physical constraint. “His physical constraints didn’t stop him from changing the world,” Twitter user Adam B. Zimmerman said. “People with disabilities don’t wish for death to be free from their challenges. We wish to be valued for what we CAN do, not pitied for we can’t.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Thank you “Wonder Woman” for that completely ableist comment. Being disabled is not a restraint, he is one of the greatest minds in the world AND he was disabled. It did not RESTRAIN him. So disappointed people think this way.”
Some expressed their disdain for Gadot even bringing his wheelchair into the conversation.
Others were so offended that they asked the actress to delete the post entirely.
Ironically, Hawking said on numerous occasions that his illness never stopped him from doing what he loved. In fact, in 1984, he wrote a piece for Science Digest where he explained it actually helped him.
“My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics,” he wrote. “Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in.”
Obviously, Gadot was trying to be sincere and by no means meant to offend anyone. She was paying homage to one of the most brilliant minds of the past three decades, so maybe people should just take it as it was meant.