Worth the Read: Disability Is Not A Metaphor

This is blog is no stranger to the discussion of representations of disability in the media. It’s topic that has gained traction in recent years as more and more TV shows and movies prominently feature characters with disabilities — a vast majority of which are played by able-bodied actors.

Of course, we are not the only ones to notice this disturbing trend. In yesterday’s Atlantic, Christopher Shinn (who is living with a disability himself) shares his thoughts on the topic — and it’s definitely worth the read. From the article:

Able-bodied actors can listen to the disabled, can do research, can use imagination and empathy to create believable characters. But they can’t draw on their direct experience. That means that audiences will be able to “enjoy” them without really confronting disability’s deepest implications for human life.

Often, one fears, that’s the point: Pop culture’s more interested in disability as a metaphor than in disability as something that happens to real people. 

Check out the full article, and then let us know what you think. Don’t forget to read the comment section below the article to see what others have to say — feel free to share your opinion as well!

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