Michael J. Fox Fires Back at Critics


So, for example, when I first disclosed I had, it was after keeping it secret for seven years. I disclosed it partly because there was going to be no hiding it anymore pretty soon. And for all those years, I'd masked it with medication.

But then what happens is the medication, after all, loses its efficacy and what happens is, in order to get the benefits from it, which is increased mobility, less tremor, you start to get what's called dyskinesia, which is this movement. And it's preferable in a way to the other--

Stephanopoulos: Right.

Fox: … Because you have, without it at this point, this way: If I didn't medicate it at all, I'd have a masked face, I'd have very limited movement, I'd have a very difficult time speaking, a la Mohammed Ali or similar. So if I want to be articulate, if I want to speak, this comes with the package. So--

Stephanopoulos: That's the tradeoff.

Fox: That's the tradeoff.

So I either sound good or look good.


I don't get the whole package.

You know, it's a constant balancing act, and there are things to go with it. Sitting still in a chair and being involved in an interrogatory, no matter how friendly or unfriendly or whatever, just the stress that it takes to be focused and to get the words together, you know, increases the motion.

It's just something to get used to. The thing that's strange about it is when you're live with it every day, and then to have someone outside give you a review on it.

Stephanopoulos: Become an expert.

Fox: Like I said, you have-- You don't even get hurt. You're just kind of like, "Sorry? You got some notes for me?"


… on how is this supposed to work?"


Stephanopoulos: Rush apologized -- I guess he apologized for saying you were acting. He didn't call you, did he?

Fox: He would've had more qualifications at an AA meeting.


No, you know, that's beside the point. It really isn't germane to the issue.

It's funny because, what I'm talking about is about hope. It's about promise. It's about moving forward. It's a forward-looking attitude about what this country is capable of and what we can accomplish for our citizens.

And so if we get sidetracked into a dialogue about whether sick people have a right to display their symptoms in public, you know, that reaction. I think it was more disappointing, from the point of view of-- The campaigns, like the [Republican Senate candidate Michael] Steele campaign, their spokesman said, "It was in poor taste," which really-- I mean, I'm out here and I expect that. Being in the lead, I'll take some hits. And that's fine. I'm a big boy. Well, not height-wise.


I'm experienced enough and mature enough to take my licks.

But I know the community was really hurt by it. And it really brings up the specter of, "Go away. Shut the windows. Shut the doors. Close the curtains, and suffer, and don't let us know," because it's a fearful response.

And what the irony is, is that those people that are being pitied or being asked to suffer in silence don't want to suffer, don't see themselves as pitiable, don't see themselves as victims -- see themselves as citizens, participants in the process, and people with aspirations and hopes and dreams for the future. They are way more positive as a whole than what I've seen from the community that opposes them.

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