Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Tag: Gary Karp

Pushing Media Forward: Getting Real with Disability Portrayal

Published: June 6, 2012

The history of disability depiction in the media is a terribly sorry one. There is real hope that this is about to change with the premier of Push Girls this week on The Sundance Channel, riding along in the lives of four vibrant women who happen to have spinal cord injuries and get around on wheels. The usual approach in film and television is to have a disabled person who is either angry (Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life), angry (Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic in Born On the Fourth of July), or angry (and tormented, as in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Phantom of the Opera). Even in the recent and wonderful Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, Sascha Baron Cohen’s train station guard is the bad guy, wearing a leg brace thanks to a war wound. He is redeemed at the end as a nice guy, but make note: they gave the one angry character in the film a disability. The Push Girls aren’t going to be angry. They’re going to be feisty. A way different thing.

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