Culture Opinion

Actress Says It’s ‘Offensive and Unjust’ for Able-Bodied Actors to Play Disabled People

Actress Octavia Spencer has said only disabled actors should play disabled people.
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Actress Octavia Spencer has said only disabled actors should play disabled people.

The Academy Award-winning actress told a disability advocacy organisation last month that: “Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive and unjust.”

Right. Because if an able-bodied actor plays a character with a disability he will have to … act.

Octavia Spencer – demonstrating that actors should never open their mouths without a script – is saying that acting is unjust. She is so woke she has just cancelled herself!

The Oxford Dictionary defines acting as “playing a part, pretending to be a particular kind of person”.

But Octavia, who played the role of God in The Shack, said: “Nothing can replace lived experience and authentic representation.”

That she felt qualified to play God tells you something! But I digress.

According to Spencer’s logic, the role of Helen Keller in the 1962 film The Miracle Worker should have been played by a deaf mute.

Jodie Foster should have never played Nel. Sean Pen should have never played Sam. Dustin Hoffman should have never played Raymond.

And it was offensive to watch Tom Hanks pretend to be a dim-witted Forest Gump. An actual dim-witted person should have been cast in the role.

And the part of Lt Dan in that same movie should have been played by two actors … an able-bodied actor before he lost his legs and a disabled actor in the scenes after he lost his legs.

Pretty soon criminals will have to be played by criminals, rocket scientists will have to be played by actual rocket scientists, characters that are dying will have to be played by actual dying people and sex fiends can be played by pretty well anyone in Hollywood.

I’d hate to be casting the next Justice League movie. Finding a cyborg to play Cyborg is going to be all sorts of difficult!

For Hollywood’s sake, let’s hope they never insist that only straight actors can play straight characters or most of tinsel town will be out work.

You may laugh, but Hollywood studios aren’t laughing.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS recently promised to audition actors with disabilities for every forthcoming production. And the BBC promised to increase the percentage of its workforce who are disabled.

That old show biz expression: “Break a leg” developed out of a superstition that wishing a person well would create bad luck. So as someone was about to go on stage, they’d be told “break a leg”; a kind of reverse psychology on fate.

But not anymore.

When we tell an aspiring actor to “Break a Leg”, we really do mean, break a leg … or your neck. Trust us. It’ll help your career. And I promise you, it’ll hurt less than watching Octavia Spencer’s last movie, Ma.


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