Why Forrest Gump Is Ableist
Forrest Gump is an American classic, but that doesn't absolve its ableism. In the opening sequence, Forrest miraculously sheds leg braces — a common assistive device for disabled children — and is suddenly "cured" of his disability. Not only is this unrealistic, but it is also ableist. Forrest shouldn't have had to lose his disability in order to succeed, but in the movie he does. It sets him up as the hero of the film, insinuating that the protagonist couldn't have a visible disability for the audience to root for him.
It should also be noted that it is implied throughout the film that Forrest has some sort of cognitive disability. It becomes almost satirical to see a man unknowingly be a part of so many major events in United States history. People with cognitive disabilities can and do make history, but their accomplishments shouldn't be the butt of a joke.