Writing in the Huffington Post, Lennard Davis takes Hollywood and Broadway to task for regularly casting actors without disabilities to portray characters with disabilities, as when Abigail Breslin (left) was selected to play Helen Keller in the upcoming revival of “The Miracle Worker.” An excerpt:
The media helps to shape and define how society at large thinks about disability. The more that television, films, theater, and other forms of performance reflect a world filled with diverse peoples and bodies live, the more egalitarian and fair our society will be.
The one way to achieve this goal is have not just characters with disabilities appear regularly in the media but to know that people with disabilities play them.
Lennard Davis is professor of English, disability studies, and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.