I Am an Actress - I Also Happen to Have Down's Syndrome -
My name is Sarah Gordy and I am an actress. I also happen to have Down’s syndrome.I was in the show called Upstairs Downstairs, which I loved. It was a drama series on BBC One and it was on from 2010 to 2012. After the series I got to appear on TV chat shows and talk to newspapers in the UK.
Within the context of the larger history of freaking and exploitation, I always start to get nervous around situations where conversations of the exploitation of disabled people come up without an acknowledgement of the complex history, and the tangled present. These are not things that are in the past, there firmly to remain, but things that continue to this day: People will still pay to see a man with claws for hands, a woman with sirenomelia, and they pay to see them because they want to gawk at the freaks, no matter how you dress it up. —
s.e. smith, ‘What a Freakshow: A Strange Facet of Disability History,’ this ain’t livin’ (via se-smith)
These days the freak show is on TV in the form of “documentaries” like “the girl without a face” or “half body, whole life”.
The Lone Ranger: Why does Hollywood pick villains with facial disfigurements? -
I was rather looking forward to watching Disneyâs reboot of The Lone Ranger. It stars Johnny Depp as Tonto, some bloke Iâve never heard of as The Lone Ranger, and two of my favourite actresses, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter. That is until I learned that the villain of the film, a character called Butch Cavendish, has a facial disfigurement.
The Lone Ranger hit by protest over cleft lip
Why is it acceptable for an able-bodied actor to play a disabled character? -
I vent furiously about non-disabled actors spacking up. But I’m slightly less bothered by Daniel Radcliffe playing this part because he does have an impairment himself.
In an ideal world it’d be nice to see an actor who has the same impairment/level of impairment as the character. But a mildly impaired actor pretending to be more impaired is less of a theatrical sin than a completely unimpaired actor spacking up.
Reaction Post: "An Enemy of Fate" -
This happy ending signified by Etta safely coming home with her parents could only happen if two disabled characters were separated from their families forever. And given that Walter is a member of Etta’s extended family, this has the Unfortunate Implication that the Happy Family can only exist if disabled members are out of the picture. Rather than placing Grampa Walter in a nursing home, they put him a hundred years into the future.
It’s important to understand that Glee let down Becky’s character in other ways than just the school shooting.
(Source: yeastinmybagelnotinmymuffin, via flutterflyinvasion)
Late last night and in the early hours of this morning a lot of coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing kept focussing on “zomg! Runners have lost legs! They loved running and now they have no legs!”
Imagine that’s you. You’re a passionate runner and now you’re watching TV from your hospital bed because you want to know what’s going on out there. To know how the events that injured you are unfolding.
The story you need to hear is that many, many amputees are runners. As an American you didn’t see any Paralympic coverage because it was only on telly for 90 minutes 2 weeks after the games ended. The only amputee runner you’ve ever heard of is Oscar Pistorius.
You don’t need the news intimating that you’ll never run again. You’ve already got enough on your plate.
I can understand why that angle would appeal to unimpaired newsreaders looking to tug on heartstrings. But it’s not helpful to the people who’ve just acquired an impairment; hearing you suggesting that they’ve just lost the hobby they love along with their leg.
In which the National Down Syndrome Society demonstrate their prejudice against people with mental health problems -
“Taking a gun to school is something very serious and would likely come with a mental health condition. That’s not appropriate for someone with Down syndrome and not a stigma they need.”
xoJane: My Therapist Me Quit Watching Glee and Last Night's School Shooting Episode Is A Great Example of Why -
So, “Glee” did a school shooting episode. My first reaction was “Of course it did.” Of course you would do that, Ryan Murphy. Of course you would take recent pressing media events and use them for entertainment and controversy. Now, to be fair, all media creators do this and anyone who claims otherwise is totally lying, but some people do it better than others.