Stephen Hawking died on March 14. Several physicists, celebrities and science enthusiasts took to social media platforms to pay a tribute to the 76-year-old, and the Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot was one among them.
She took to Twitter and Instagram to share a picture of the physicist and wrote a message, which she thought was heartwarming. However, the star's tribute was not welcomed by all and she was slammed online.
Gal's message read: "Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you're free of any physical constraints.. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever." Hawking's "physical constraint" was caused due to ALS. The scientist was diagnosed with the ailment soon after his 21st birthday which left him wheel-chair bound.
The tweet by the Israeli star was deemed as ableist, which is referred to people who discriminate against people with disabilities. A fan of the actress replied to her tweet expressing his disheartenment over the use of "free of any physical constraints."
He wrote: "I think you're fantastic Gal but this tweet is very ableist. His physical constraints didn't stop him from changing the world. People with disabilities don't wish for death to be free of their challenges. We wish to be valued for what we CAN do, not pitied for we can't."
"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," an online user shared.
However, many people came to the actress' rescue and asked online bullies to give her a break. Several pointed out that she did not mean that his disability stopped him and things are being taken out of context.
"How on earth do you interpret this tweet as her saying that one's life is not important if you're disabled? I'm sorry, it is common belief that one of is free of pain and illness after death, that's what her tweet said," a tweet read.
"You're being overly politically correct about a beautiful statement of someones spirit leaving their body I'm sure the day you die your spirit will be free as well... don't be so sensitive she is not referring to you personally!! He openly spoke about his frustrations," added another.
"Wow... people took this way out of context. Come on people, her choice of words may not have been the best, but I think we can all agree she meant well," pointed out another.
This world is way too politically correct! It's a beautiful tweet, Gal. If we choose to argue about everything people say, no one will say anything at all for fear of exactly this.— Dorian Louis (@DorianLouis1847) March 15, 2018
I think @GalGadot's intent was sweet and well-intentioned. Of course the Internet is going to complain, find fault, and label.— Dano DeBroux (@DanoDB) March 15, 2018
Searching her twitter, no sign Gadot's used that phrasing for any non-disabled people, so "No"— BenjaminCraft-Rendon (@BFSCR) March 15, 2018