Clips from ABC's 'The Good Physician' are going viral amid criticism of its illustration of autism. Right here's what it is advisable to know.

  • Clips from the medical drama “The Good Physician” went viral in Could. 
  • They sparked memes about Freddie Highmore and Daniel Dae Kim’s characters, Dr. Shaun Murphy and Dr. Han. 
  • The viral clips additionally reignited criticism over the way in which that the present portrays autism. 

Almost six years after “The Good Physician” premiered on ABC in 2017, the medical drama has been thrust into the highlight. 

Clips from the ABC drama went viral on Twitter on Tuesday, sparking renewed criticism — and loads of dunking — concerning the present’s central character. Dr. Shaun Murphy (performed by Freddie Highmore) is autistic, one thing that within the present lends him preternatural medical skills in a approach that performs into the autistic savant trope.

Here is how “The Good Physician” went viral, renewing a wave of debate concerning the present’s illustration of autism.

Clips from the present first began trending on TikTok and Twitter in late April and early Could

It is not atypical for seemingly random motion pictures and TV reveals to go viral due to TikTok. As Polygon recently reported, there’s an entire corner of the social-media platform that’s dedicated to reuploading movie and TV clips, often with little to no context. “The Good Doctor” is one of those shows that gets punted onto TikTok in chopped up little pieces that not-infrequently amass millions of views, often because they’re just goofy.

In late April, the show seemingly broke out of its containment corner on the app, mostly through a clip showing Murphy repeatedly insisting to Daniel Dae Kim’s character Dr. Han that he is a surgeon. 

The sequence is from season two, episode 17 of the show and went viral several times on TikTok in April — first in an April 20 post by the user @alilson_m that has 19.3 million views to date, and again in an April 22 post by user @hnjiaaju14, whose video has approximately 20.5 million views to date (both accounts are essentially clip repositories for shows like “The Good Doctor” and “Grey’s Anatomy”).  

On @hnjiauuju14’s post, the comments take a rather sardonic turn. 

“Me when I am a surgeon,” one comment from early May reads. “I think he’s a surgeon,” another reads. “Bro is possibly a surgeon,” another says.

Meme parodies and edits of the sequence that warp Highmore’s voice in a helium-pitched earsore and add lasers to Kim’s eyes proliferated on TikTok. Other edits of fish clips imagined that Highmore was saying “I am a sturgeon,” rather than “surgeon.”

Another clip from the show has been circulating online, showing Murphy repeatedly misgendering a transgender patient. After the clip was uploaded to TikTok on April 25 by TikTok user @xiaoshuai057, it was reuploaded to Twitter by several accounts who made additional transphobic statements or sided with Murphy misgendering the patient. 

The virality of ‘I’m a surgeon’ generated an ironic fandom for Dr. Han, and renewed criticism of the present’s illustration of autism 

On Could 6, movie author Man Dolbey reposted @hnjiaajuz14’s add of the clip onto Twitter, the place it is since been seen roughly 8.9 million instances by customers on the platform. The Twitter add, in flip sparked additional memes and reactions — and criticism as properly.  

After the “I’m a surgeon” clip unfold to Twitter, memes about Dr. Han started to abound. Folks enthusiastically praising Dr. Han, or making memes about him, grew to become an ironic kind of fandom.

Finally, “The Good Physician” memes had been distilled right into a singular battle: Surgeon vs. Han, which was utilized to different clips from the present. 

The “I’m a surgeon” memes additionally collided with discussions concerning the separate clip of the transgender youngster on the present, with one particular person reposting @CatchUpFeed’s add of it with the caption, “SURGEON NO!”

As memes about “The Good Physician” spun uncontrolled, with customers sharing different absurd snippets from the sequence, others raised criticism — and cracked jokes — about the way in which that the present represents folks with autism.

That criticism is not new. In 2018, a bunch of three docs wrote in a visitor column for The Hollywood Reporter that the present continued a development in portraying autism as a type of “superpower,” predominantly by white, male genius characters just like the titular physician. Within the course of, it leaves behind folks with autism who do not match that depiction, they argued.

And amid the resurgent criticism, Sara Luterman, a caregiving reporter at The nineteenth who wrote concerning the present for Slate in 2017, advised The Washington Submit in Could that whereas she felt constructive concerning the present when it premiered, she’s since realized that there are different sequence with “higher, fuller, extra practical reveals of autistic folks in them.”

On Twitter, some shared clips mocking the way in which that “The Good Physician” depicted Murphy’s autism, with one particular person referring to the dramatized approach graphics and medical data encompass him as he thinks as Murphy’s “autism powers.”

Others identified the show’s association with Autism Speaks, a corporation that is been criticized for perpetuating dangerous narratives about autistic folks and failing to adequately serve or characterize them. Many raised concerns about the truth that Highmore, the actor who performs Dr. Murphy, doesn’t have autism. 

Whereas “The Good Physician” has been on for years, this specific viral second appeared to indicate an entire swathe of individuals on-line turning into conscious of community tv, as Bethy Squires wrote for Vulture. And whereas the memes have died down, “The Good Physician” will maintain chugging on — for not less than a seventh season, and perhaps extra. 

An ABC consultant didn’t reply to Insider’s request for remark. 


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