HOLLYWOOD AND THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY CONSTANTLY HIRE NON-DISABLED ACTORS IN ROLES THAT PORTRAY DISABILITY. IT'S TIME TO CALL OUT HOLLYWOOD FOR THIER BLATANT BIGOTRY AND PREJUDICE.

HOLLYWOOD BIGOTRY & ITS HISTORY

Hollywood has a long history of displaying bigotry and prejudice against minority communities. For over a century, "Blackface" was used to justify stereotypes about the African American community while simultaneously preventing black actors from being able to acquire jobs in the entertainment industry.

 

That same bigotry is displayed towards the disabled community today. Over 95% of all disabled roles in Hollywood are given to actors who do not have a disability at all. "Inspiration Porn" has become the standard portrayal of disability by the mainstream media. These practices have led to unequal job opportunities among disabled actors and inadequate representations of disability from our media outlets.

Featured below is a list of television and movie characters featuring a disability whose roles were given to a non-disabled actor. It's time to make Hollywood accountable for their outright "ableism" toward the disabled community. It's time to Roll Away!

Key Definitions

Blackface: noun. - The makeup used by a nonblack performer playing a black role. Origins date back to the 1830's used during minstrel performances.

Ableism: noun. - Discrimination in favor of an able-bodied person.

"Inspiration Porn": noun. - The portrayal of people with disabilities as inspirational solely or in part on the basis of their disability.The term was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young in an editorial in Australian Broadcasting Corporation's webzine Ramp Up.

THE HOLLYWOOD DISABLED PROBLEM

Shazam! (2019) - Disability: Leg Injury/Uses Crutches

Role: Freddy Freeman, Played By: Jack Dylan Grazer

The Upside (2019) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Phillip Lacasse, Played By: Bryan Cranston

In Darkness (2018) - Disability: Blindness

Role: Sofia, Played By: Natalie Dormer

The Good Doctor (2017) - Disability: Autism

Role: Dr. Shaun Murphy, Played By: Freddie Highmore

The Shape Of Water (2017) - Disability: Mute

Role: Eliza, Played By: Sally Hawkins

Wonder (2017) - Disability: Treacher Collins Syndrome

Role: August Pullman, Played By: Jacob Tremblay

Don't Breath (2016) - Disability: Blindness

Role: The Blind Man, Played By: Stephan Lang

Me Before You (2016) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Will Traynor, Played By: Sam Clafflin

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - Disability: Prosthetic Arm

Role: Imperator Furiosa, Played By: Charlize Theron

Superstore (2015) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Garrett McNeil, Played By: Colton Dunn

Empire (2015) - Disability: Bi-polar Disorder

Role: Andre Lyon, Played By: Trai Byers

NCIS: New Orleans (2014) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Patton Plame, Played By: Daryl Mitchell

Mom (2013) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Adam, Played By: William Fitchner

Covert Affairs (2010) - Disability: Blindness

Role: Auggie Anderson, Played By: Christopher Gorham

Boardwalk Empire (2010) - Disability: Facial Disfigurement

Role: Richard Harrow, Played By: Jack Huston

Glee (2009) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Artie Abrams, Played By: Kevin McHale

Avatar (2009) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Jake Sulley, Played By: Sam Worthington

Friday Night Lights (2006) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Jason Street, Played By: Scott Porter

Grey's Anatomy (2005) - Disability: Asperger's Syndrome

Role: Dr. Virginia Dixon, Played By: Mary McDonnell

Ray (2003) - Disability: Blindness

Role: Ray Charles, Played By: Jamie Foxx

A Beautiful Mind (2001) - Disability: Schizophrenia 

Role: John Forbes Nash, Played By: Russell Crowe

Malcolm In The Middle (2000) - Disability: Wheelchair Bound

Role: Stevie Kenarban, Played By: Craig Lamar Traymor

X-Men (2000) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Dr. Charles Xavier, Played By: Patrick Stewart

The Bone Collector (1999) - Disability: Paraplegic

Role: Lincoln Rhyme, Played By: Denzel Washington

ER (1994) - Disability: Congenial Hip Displatia

Role: Dr. Kerry Weaver, Played By: Laura Innes

My Left Foot (1989) - Disability: Cerebral Palsy

Role: Christy Brown, Played By: Daniel Day-Lewis

Rain Man (1988) - Disability: Autism

Role: Raymond Babbitt, Played By: Dustin Hoffman

The Elephant Man (1980) - Disability: Neurofibromatosis 

Role: Joseph Merrick, Played By: John Hurt

Ironside (1967) - Disability: Spinal Cord Injury

Role: Robert Ironside, Played By: Raymond Burr

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