When it comes to portraying people with disabilities in movies and/or series, it seems like producers are still missing the mark. Just a little caveat on my post. The topic is blind-centric, because that’s what I know. Other disabilities, (both visible and unseen) need to also be considered. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the “Daredevil” series, because everyone knows that I Am Daredevil! All kidding aside, Charlie Cox who played Matt Murdock (Daredevil) did a fantastic job, but I keep wondering… why wasn’t a blind person chosen for the part? Aren’t there blind actors out there? Do you have to be sighted to be a good, convincing blind person? Admittedly, I did consult on a series a few years back to help a sighted actor (act more blind), but I was pulled in after the series had already started. Turns out he was a nice guy, even took me out for beer and really got into his portrayal… did a pretty good job at that. I guess what I’m getting at is,
there needs to be a more concerted effort from the acting industry to reach out to the disability community and have a better representation of people with disabilities on screen. Things are changing, but it seems like a very slow process.
Just recently, I happened upon a casting call for a commercial where the company decided to reach out for a blind person to fill out one of the roles. Not because it was a blind role, but because they thought of being inclusive. I thought it was a breath of fresh air, still didn’t get the role though as they decided to go in a different direction, at least the thought was there.
This whole diatribe of mine stems from a series my wife mentioned to me last night called “In The Dark”. It sounds like a fantastic show and I’ll most likely watch it, because the main character is a blind woman with a guide dog. but you guessed it, the actor is not blind. There’s an article which describes as to why the producers came to this decision, so I’ll leave it to you to read it, but, I don’t know. I’m fairly well connected to social media, the blind community and the disability community in general, but I never did hear of a casting call for this part. Perhaps the industry just isn’t casting their talent acquisition feelers far enough, or the organizations they contacted just didn’t know how to handle their request? Who knows. At any rate, the article is found at the link below. I’d be curious to hear people’s comments.