Episode 6: Disability in Media

In this episode of The Accessible Stall, Kyle and Emily talk about representation of disability in media. Disabled roles should be portrayed by actors with disabilities… right? This episode was inspired by the issues surrounding the new movie Me Before You, among other things. We touch on overlooked positive representation of disability in media. There’s more than you might think, and you may be surprised.

Mentions in this episode: Peter Dinklage on saying “no”Croatian Wheelchair User Robs Bank.

8 thoughts on “Episode 6: Disability in Media”

  1. I agree that when a show hires an actor with a disability, it counts as bonus points. But I don’t think that the actor always needs to have a disability. I’d encourage the producers to give care on who they hire for a disabled role, though. The actor should care about the role and what they’re portraying, more than just feel it’s a job. And the actor should do research beforehand about disability. In the past I’ve seen roles of disability portrayed where I felt this was not done. Also, as a wheelchair user, I can say that there is a difference in the way an experienced wheelchair user pushes a manual wheelchair and how an actor does it, and I can spot it every time.

  2. One of the presenters hasn’t seen 80%+ of the shows mentioned in this podcast. If you’re going to do a segment on representation of Disability in Media and have an in-depth discussion on this topic- don’t you think at the very least one should know what the current representation is?

    1. That’s not really an accurate approximation. Our podcast is intended to be a casual conversation and it happened to go in the direction of a few shows I don’t regularly watch, though I have watched them before. I have plenty of familiarity with other media depictions of disability that we didn’t get to in this episode and will touch on in later episodes.

      1. Really. It seems pretty accurate to me.
        “Legit”, “Game Of Thrones”, “AHS: Freak Show” (which I think you said you were admittedly too scared to watch) are three huge, recent (if not current) shows with large audiences and mass appeal that are also portraying Disability in interesting, provocative ways. It’s curious to me how one can claim to be a proponent for the Disability Community and speak out against real or perceived representations and not be educated on the full spectrum of what is out there.
        In addition beyond the point made of finding an actor who would be willing to play the role of someone who willingly chooses assisted suicide (but when you get down to it, with the limited opportunities, what disabled actor wouldn’t want to be in a big Hollywood movie), I’m also curious to know what actors you would have liked to have seen in the lead role in ME BEFORE YOU. Can you name any disabled actors who could have carried that movie with all the market demands of a big budget, Hollywood picture?

        1. It’s curious to me how one can claim to be a proponent for the Disability Community and speak out against real or perceived representations and not be educated on the full spectrum of what is out there.

          I’m sorry but how could we possibly in any realistic and practical way be educated on the full spectrum of anything in our community? This goes deep, as I’m sure you know. We picked those shows because we knew enough about them to have a conversation about, and of course there’s more, but that’s what we thought of when we recorded it. It doesn’t matter that Emily was too afraid to watch AHS: Freak Show, because I have.

          (but when you get down to it, with the limited opportunities, what disabled actor wouldn’t want to be in a big Hollywood movie)

          This is true, but wasn’t really the point I was getting at when I said what I said.

          I’m also curious to know what actors you would have liked to have seen in the lead role in ME BEFORE YOU.

          I personally couldn’t care less, I said in the episode that I wasn’t going to see it. The point we were making had very little to do about the actors in that movie. I took no stance on it. Emily was talking about Me Before You in a much more “big picture” kind of way, almost using the movie as a symptom to something she sees as a much larger problem.

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