More complex, more sophisticated stories and representations of disabled people need to replace the simplistic, outdated and cliched tropes that have been consistently rewarded at the Oscars, says Magda Romanska.
The #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have forced Hollywood and other artists and filmmakers to rethink their subject matter and casting practices. However, despite an increased sensitivity to gender and race representation in popular culture, disabled Americans are still awaiting their national (and international) movement.
“Disability drag” – casting able-bodied actors in the roles of characters with disabilities – has been hard to dislodge from its Oscar-worthy appeal. Since 1947, out of 59 nominations for disabled characters, 27 won an Academy Award – about a 50% win rate.
There’s Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”; Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Christy Brown, who has cerebral palsy, in “My Left Foot”; and Dustin Hoffman’s role as an autistic genius in “Rain Man” – to mention just a few.
In recent years, however, we’ve seen a slight shift. Actors with disabilities are actually being cast as characters who have disabilities... Keep reading on The Conversation