They call it disability drag or cripface. That’s when an able-bodied actor plays a character with disabilities. According to the LA Times, on TV only one out of the 20 actors who played characters with disabilities actually had a disability—that’s 5 percent! And that’s only the beginning of Hollywood’s mistreatment on of the disability community.
Does Hollywood Have A Problem With Disability?
Diversity has been one of the hot topics in Hollywood recently. Advocates and the public have pushed Hollywood and its creators to represent society as it really is. So far, their efforts have paid off. There are more women characters on screen, more LGBT characters on your favorite shows, and more characters of color are becoming integral to our entertainment. So why aren’t we seeing more people with disabilities in our everyday entertainment?
Representation of characters with disabilities has actually fallen from 1.4 percent to 0.9 percent. And as we mentioned earlier, only 5 percent of those characters are portrayed by an actor with disabilities. This is a gross misrepresentation of the disability community in our nation. According to U.S. Census numbers, people with disabilities make up 18.7 percent of the country. That’s 56 million people, and almost one in every five Americans. So how can this problem of representation be solved?
Is There A Solution to Hollywood’s Disability Problem?
As usual, we are all going to have to speak up. Recently, we talked about efforts to Crip the Vote and spread the word on disability issues and government policy. In that same way, we are going to have to shout out and make our voices heard. The representation of our society in entertainment is tilted away from women, minorities and people with disabilities, and this needs to change.
What do you think Hollywood can do to improve representation in entertainment? Are there any other issues you have with today’s entertainment? Share your opinions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and keep following our disability blog. There are more disability issues out there than you can imagine, but your Tulsa disability attorneys won’t stop fighting for the people affected by these issues.