A response to a disabled writers opinion on The Theory of Everything

Disability / Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Slate magazines culture blog posted a disabled writers opinion on The Theory of Everything that really rubbed me up the wrong way, and smelled a lot like reverse discrimination to me.

The author made a few rather bold claims, including the utterly ridiculous notion that the able-bodied have disgust at the disabled.  Being disabled myself, I find it most hypocritical for a disabled person to paint the able-bodied with such a broad brush, and as unfair as it may seem I do think we should particular care when posting anything so polarizing.

The author paraphrases another disabled writer, who is trying to suggest that the able-bodied community, when watching a non-disabled Actor portraying the disabled, express relief when they get to see them stand and walk to collect their Award at the Oscars. What bullshit. They may make some mental connection between the dis- and the -abled, but to suggest this is a negative thing is also to deny the simple human emotion at feeling joy that someone is healed. To say this is relief reeks of pent up negativity that would do well to find a different creative outlet.

Next up we see the suggestion that there is something wrong having the disabled portrayed by able-bodied Actors. Movies are movies, not reality-TV. To say that the disabled should only be portrayed in movies by disabled actors is like saying actors should all be replaced by their real-life characters.  There is a reason they use actors. Yes it would be better if the disabled were used, but not exclusively.


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