Lisy's Thoughts on Disability in Film & TV

Feb 01

Orange is the New Black

Excellent that they have a disabled prison warden (even if he isn’t the most moral of men). But why couldn’t he be played by an amputee actor?

Edit: Up to episode 10. A group of teenagers come to visit to get a “don’t end up like us” lecture from the inmates. One’s a wheelchair user. Played by a non-disabled actor. And this is from the show that’s been so lauded for its diversity.

PTSD is Not Romantic or Sexy


Pop culture seems to have a strange fascination with post-traumatic stress disorder. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise: as always, pop culture draws upon (and feeds) the society around it, and in a nation at war, PTSD is a reality for many people.…

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Jan 26

Michael Cera's Dark, Disturbed Paraplegic Movie Wins Sundance Short Film Award -

Why Michael Cera when there are dozens of disabled actors who could play the part? Oh, yes. Michael Cera is famous.

Why aren’t there famous disabled people? Because no-one will cast them.

If they’d used an actual wheelchair user they’d have avoided the budget problem of having to buy a wheelchair.

(I nearly threw up when she sucked his piss-covered fingers.)

Jan 22

American Horror Story Coven

The special school for witches has a disabled student!

(Something I always thought Hogwarts lacked. The magic that makes a broomstick fly could totally levitate a wheelchair up all those stairs.)

Jan 20

The Michael J. Fox Show

Really surprised and disappointed to see a show about a disabled protagonist, with a disabled star, using albinism as a punchline. I plan to write a fuller review when I don’t have a migraine, but that was just one little nugget that really struck me.

Jan 19

Divya Arora: Superstar in a wheelchair! -

Jan 09

Lack of representation in fiction: Why is the disabled character always a cisgender, heterosexual, white man? -


Alice Hewitt writes about media representation of disabled characters for Disability Intersections. 

Does miss out Dr Arizona Robbins (Grey’s Anatomy) and Dr Kerry Weaver (ER) as disabled characters who are not straight men. Though they are/were, sadly, played by non-disabled actors.

Also misses out Dr Al Robbins (CSI) from the list of major disabled characters on TV AND the list of major disabled characters on TV actually played by a disabled actor.

Spotting omissions from the article has made me note the number of disabled characters on TV with “MD” after their name. Also the number of disabled Dr Robbinses.

But it’s a great piece that clearly can’t include every disabled character from every single show.

Jan 02

Why I love Abed Nadir -



During the summer of 2013 I finally got around to watching a lot of TV shows that I’d been putting off for lack of time. I started on Buffy, began Elementary and discovered Arrow. I also decided to try something new: a sitcom called Community, following the exploits of a community college…

Dec 23

Grey’s Anatomy: Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

I completely understand wanting to sue negligent doctors. Hell, I’ve wanted to sue negligent doctors.

But the bizarre thing about this episode was one word that was never said.

An Olympian lost his legs and kept banging on and on about how he’d lost his career. Like I said; I can understand wanting to sue the doctor that took your legs if they’re at fault. And I understand that in a courtroom you’re going to want to lay on the “woe is me” to get sympathy from the jury.

But it was so weird that the defence never brought up this one word.


If you’re an Olympian and you lose your legs; your career doesn’t have to be over. You can continue to make your living as a pro athlete. Sure; disablism in the advertising industry means you’ll probably earn a lot less in endorsements; but it’s not like he needs to go from professional athlete to begging on the street.

And why was a young, fit, healthy guy using such a cumbersome wheelchair? Seriously. You can get chairs lighter and more moveable than that for a few hundred quid.

Dec 22

Grey’s Anatomy: Map of You

Holy shit: Grey’s “it’s better to be dead than disabled” Anatomy have a disabled actor in this episode!

Edit: Ack. No chance of him returning in another episode then…