Is Latest Role for Alec Baldwin Offensive to People with Disabilities?

Photo of man in wheelchairHave you ever heard of the term “crip-face”? If you think it sounds like “blackface”, then you already have some idea of the meaning of this term. Crip-face refers to anytime an able-bodied person portrays a person with disability, and according to the Ruderman Family Foundation, Alec Baldwin is guilty of it.

Do You Find Alec Baldwin’s Performance Offensive to People with Disabilities?

In the upcoming film “Blind,” a man is prosecuted for insider trading, and because his wife is ignorant of his actions, she is assigned community service. To fulfill that order, Demi Moore’s character assists a blind man played by Alec Baldwin. The two become close, sparking a potential affair that the woman’s husband—played by Dylan McDermott—will do anything to stop.

The thriller romance may promise the audience sultry excitement, but for disability advocates, it is a symptom of a much larger problem. According to the Ruderman Family foundation, 95 percent of characters with disabilities were played by actors who did not have a disability. This is unacceptable to advocates, especially since the film industry is supposedly pushing to become more diverse.

The foundation’s president, Jay Ruderman says he is tired of Hollywood treating disability like a costume. He believes crip-face should be as unacceptable as blackface. Do you think he’s right? Should Hollywood find more actors with disabilities to play these roles?

The Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman, P.C., will continue to monitor his issue.


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