Discrimination In The Work Force

Submitted By j3ss123
Words: 1284
Pages: 6

Discrimination in the Work Force In today’s society people with AIDS / HIV especially gay men are not discriminated or not looked upon differently as they were in the early 1990's when AIDS first came about. This discrimination in the early 1990’s is well described in the Jonathan Demme film “Philadelphia”. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is a late stage of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus}). The movie Philadelphia (1993), director Jonathan Demme was the first movie that explores the upcoming of AIDS; it shows the impact, stereotypes, and fears that come with it. The movie is about Andy Beckett (Tom Hanks) who is an up and coming lawyer at a well-known law firm in the city of Philly. The firm is unaware that Andy is a homosexual and has developed AIDS. Upon discovering the issue, the law firm fires him, claiming he wasn’t a good lawyer anymore. Another reason they fired him after giving him a case due to his good work he has been doing the papers work Andy submitted to his assistant had magically disappeared. Beckett then decided he is going to sue the firm since he believes he was set-up to have a valid reason to fire him instead of because he was diagnosed with AIDS. In the United States it is illegal to terminate someone because they have a disease. Beckett goes on a search for lawyers to help him with his case, but many lawyers turn him down due to his condition. Lastly Joe Miller who was an anti-gay and feared the disease, Andy had worked with him on a prior case. Miller denied his help as well. A series of events occurred, and after Miller witnessing one situation where Andy was being discriminated in an illegal and unethical way as blacks were treated back then, he decided to help Beckett out.
The outcome of the case is that Beckett win’s, awarding him back pay, damages for pain, suffering, etc. and in total received about 4.5 million dollars. The law firm image was now destroyed due to the event that took place. Miller and Beckett become close and Beckett ends up dying right before the case was closed. Beckett gets justice for what had happen to him.The central point in the movie is the ethical dilemma in the work place. It is right to fire a man who is fully competent at his job because he was diagnosed with a disease and has a different lifestyle than others? The lifestyle Beckett chose to have is a personal choice and has nothing to do with his job setting, for the simple fact he defended many clients and won all the cases given. In the movie he here is an example of dilemma in the work place occurs, in Chapter 4 (22:33mins - 28:50mins): Andy goes to Millers office and explains he has AIDS; he is seeking representation in a wrongful termination suit against his former employer. He recounts his events that led to be determinate from his job. They then showed the senior partner of the firm telling Beckett he has an attitude problem and has become unreliable, and this is why they are determinate him. Miller than believes he is sabotaged or he has a case but can’t take it for personal reasons.
Dialogue from the movie:
Jamey (person from the firm):
(Frantic) Andy?! This is a disaster! We can’t find you revisions on the Kronos complaint!
Andrew: Slow down Jamey, for Christ’s sake!
Jamey: What file is it under?
Andrew: K-R-O-one.
Jamey: it’s not here, Andy. This second dialogue is when Andy went to meet Joe Miller for the first time to see if he would help him with the case.
Joe: Jesus Christ, what happened to you?
Andrew: I have AIDS.
Joe: Whoa-oh! (Beat) sorry I ….
Andrew It’s okay. Can I sit down?
Joe: Uh, yeah.
Joe: You want to sue Wyant wheeler Hellerman Tetlow and Brown?
Andrew: Correct, I’m seeking representation.
Joe: Continue.
Andrew: I misplaced an important complaint. That’s their story. Want to hear mine?
Joe: How many lawyers did you go to, before you called me?
Andrew: Nine.
Joe: I knew you were going to say that.