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Disabled Actors Upset About Wheels & Artie


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#1
bri1996

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I was reading a few newspapers yesterday, and there was a huge article on Glee. Apparently, the handicapped "community" is mad at the show because Kevin isn't really handicapped. It said that Fox could have chosen a person who was actually in a wheelchair to play the part. And there saying that Fox had turned everyone down because they were in a wheelchair if anyone in a wheelchair audtitioned. did anyone else hear about this?

#2
jaymcb

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From what I hear wheelcahired actors did audition, but they felt Kevin was the best for the part, becasue of his singing and acting abilities.

Either way it was bound to happen.

This is politics at play.

The group of actors knew this to be a great chance to get the word out that more disabled actors should be cast. Which I can not disagree with.

The group is using the success of glee to get publicity for their cause, which is done all the time.

Hopefully the producers did give wheel chairs bounds actors a fair shot but in the end it is subjective on who they want to cast.

They must sing, act and maybe eventually dance. Plus they must look a certain way and the all important chemistry and get along with the cast factor.





#3
MacyLightfoot

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Well this could be a perfect example of what Sue was talking about.

Just because the character is in a wheelchair doesn't mean the actor has to be. Hiring someone just because they're in a wheelchair is positive discrimination. If Kevin was the best choice for the role then he was the best choice. The fact he's not really in a wheelchair shouldn't matter.

Plus it's not like they're not being respectful of the characters condition.

#4
Arvin

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Same thing happened when Abigail Breslin was cast as Helen Keller. I actually think she's an extraordinary actress & yet the reaction was the same...

Advocacy Group Opposes Casting

#5
Shelly

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Kevin was just asked about this in an interview...

QUOTE
PW: There has been some controversy that a wheelchair-bound actor wasn't given the role. Thoughts?
Kevin: You know, I'm just doing my own take on it. It wasn't up to me whether or not I got the role -- I can only do my part and if the producers liked me for it, great. Usually when you audition, there's a character breakdown with their ethnicity on it and whatever, but with "Glee," there wasn't. It didn't say that Tina had to be Asian -- they wanted a diverse cast but whoever was right for the part got it. From my understanding actors in wheelchairs did audition, but luckily they felt I was right for Artie.


Source

So it seems like everyone was given a fair chance; it's just that they felt that Kevin was best for the role. But like jaymcb said, it's totally understandable that this group would speak out. They do bring up a good point - there are so many disabled actors out there struggling to find roles, but not nearly enough characters out there to suit them.

#6
MacyLightfoot

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Well Dianna isn't really a Christian, so maybe I'll call the Vatican and get something done about that. Plus Cory isn't even an American!! Seriously, you'd think they could have got an American to play Finn. dry.gif

#7
transfat0g

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Maybe they should just try harder.










At walking.

#8
MacyLightfoot

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QUOTE (Nilla Cakester @ Nov 13 2009, 10:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe they should just try harder.










At walking.


OUTSTANDING

#9
Shelly

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QUOTE (MacyLightfoot @ Nov 13 2009, 02:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well Dianna isn't really a Christian, so maybe I'll call the Vatican and get something done about that. Plus Cory isn't even an American!! Seriously, you'd think they could have got an American to play Finn. dry.gif


Are you seriously comparing someone's religion/nationality to a permanent, life-altering disability? :|

#10
Brad

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QUOTE (Nilla Cakester @ Nov 13 2009, 05:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe they should just try harder.










At walking.

AHHHHHH! laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

ILY JANET! biggrin.gif

#11
Shelly

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Okay, that made me LOL.

Hey Brad (or any mod), maybe you should edit the title to include the whole thing about disabled actors? Bad reviews is kinda vague.

#12
MacyLightfoot

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QUOTE (Shelly @ Nov 13 2009, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you seriously comparing someone's religion/nationality to a permanent, life-altering disability? :|


I was being sarcastic, to point out the stupidity of these complaints.

I'm not in a wheelchair, nor do I know anyone with any major disabilities, but I don't see why it's a big deal that the actor isn't in a wheelchair.

None of the actors are really what they're characters are, and by singling out the guy in the wheelchair for criticism is just stupid to me.

If you were in a wheelchair would you want to be hired for something, purely because you're in a wheelchair, not because you're the best for the job? I believe FOX and Ryan Murphy and whoever else was involved in casting the show would have chosen the right person for the job based soley on their talent, not on their ability to walk, or not walk as the case may be.

#13
RandomPerson3

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I love it when people play the victim card...it makes people who don't "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!" over everything look bad. <3

Anyways, it's acting for a reason. Besides, they should be happy that the show does it's best to portray it in a more neutral and realistic light. I think they do a good job with Artie, plus his voice is flat out amazing.




#14
Shelly

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Oh yes, let's all be sarcastic and ignore the voices of the disabled, because they aren't mistreated enough as it is. (That's me being sarcastic, in case you didn't catch that. wink.gif)

I love Kevin and think he's perfect for the role, and I'm definitely not saying that someone in a wheelchair should've been cast simply because they're in a wheelchair. All I'm saying is that this group has the right to speak out, and it is a valid point. If you disagree, fine, but don't just completely disregard their argument.

#15
Whivit

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Well, I personally have a disability (or two...), but I don't expect actors that act people with said disability to have it. Actors are picked for acting ability and resemblance to character, not whether they're in a wheelchair or not. I think this whole thing is just ridiculous, seriously.

I'm pretty damned sure the Ryan, Bran and Ian gave all the people that auditioned and happened to be in wheelchairs the same chance as they gave everyone else. But to expect them to give them a HIGHER chance than anyone else, well, THAT'S what Sue was talking about.

#16
MacyLightfoot

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QUOTE (Shelly @ Nov 13 2009, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh yes, let's all be sarcastic and ignore the voices of the disabled, because they aren't mistreated enough as it is. (That's me being sarcastic, in case you didn't catch that. wink.gif)

I love Kevin and think he's perfect for the role, and I'm definitely not saying that someone in a wheelchair should've been cast simply because they're in a wheelchair. All I'm saying is that this group has the right to speak out, and it is a valid point. If you disagree, fine, but don't just completely disregard their argument.


I'm not dismissing their right to express themselves.
I don't agree with what they're saying, I'm not saying they can't say it.


#17
Shelly

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Making sarcastic remarks and commenting on how stupid they are isn't exactly being respectful of their rights, but okay. Freedom of speech and all, yeah?

Anyway, this has been an issue for a while now and it actually really doesn't have that much to do with Glee, it just so happens that this show became a hit and people are using that to their advantage.

Here are some ~statistics~

"About one-fifth of Americans age 5 to 64 have a physical or mental disability more than 50 million, according to U.S. Census figures. But fewer than 2 percent of the characters on TV reflect that reality, according to a 2005 study of Screen Actors Guild members conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles.

And it's not a small playing field: There are 600 characters or more on the scripted comedies and dramas airing on the five major networks in a typical season.

More than a third of performers with disabilities reported facing discrimination in the workplace, either being refused an audition or not being cast for a role because of their disability, the study found. Many performers fear being candid about their health or needs to avoid pity or being seen as incapable of doing a job."


Aaand back to Glee. I think it's awesome that they hired Lauren Potter to play Becky, so kudos to the producers for that. Maybe disabled actors shouldn't have specifically targeted Glee because of this, but it was smart of them to use the show to draw attention to their cause...

#18
Gleek257

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What everyone said, plus my two cents: I think it would be really cool for Artie to have a dream sequence maybe where he dances on his feet, and you kinda have to not be in a wheelchair for that so...

#19
MacyLightfoot

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QUOTE (Shelly @ Nov 13 2009, 11:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Making sarcastic remarks and commenting on how stupid they are isn't exactly being respectful of their rights, but okay. Freedom of speech and all, yeah?


I didn't say they were stupid, I said this specific Glee/Artie/Kevin issue was stupid.

Obviously nobody should be discriminated against for any reason. As far as casting Kevin as Artie goes, I don't think it was discrimination, so I don't agree with their views.

It really annoys me how it seems you can't have an apposing view to someone with a disability without being told you're discriminating, or being disrespectful.

#20
Shelly

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QUOTE (MacyLightfoot @ Nov 13 2009, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I didn't say they were stupid, I said this specific Glee/Artie/Kevin issue was stupid.

Obviously nobody should be discriminated against for any reason. As far as casting Kevin as Artie goes, I don't think it was discrimination, so I don't agree with their views.

It really annoys me how it seems you can't have an apposing view to someone with a disability without being told you're discriminating, or being disrespectful.


Oh, no, it's definitely possible to have an opposing view and be respectful at the same time. And relax, no one has accused you of discriminating. But even if you're not directly calling them stupid, calling their views regarding this issue stupid has just about the same effect.

This comment I found on LJ pretty much sums up my thoughts:

"I don't know if I'm more disturbed by the "OMG GLEE PRODUCERS HATE THE DISABLED" group, or the "OMG GLEE PRODUCERS ARE SAINTS! I KNOW BECAUSE THEY TOLD ME!" group.

Is it not possible to respect the fact that disabled actors and their advocates might feel that an opportunity had been missed here? You don't have to agree with their position in order to be respectful of their feelings. And the "we saw literally everyone and merely chose the best" argument isn't particularly convincing - every producer on the planet could say that about any single character, and yet we still see a systematic bias towards straight, white, able-bodied actors. Is that coincidence? (Hint: No, it's not.) Does that mean that Kevin was necessarily the wrong choice? No. But since we have no way of knowing what sets of individual or institutional biases came into play during the casting process, asserting that able-bodies actors had no advantages whatsoever seems pretty silly to me.

I think Kevin is fantastic (he was particularly amazing last night when he got a chance to shine!), but it doesn't make my brain explode to simultaneously believe a: that he was a wonderful choice, and b: that some people might be legitimately and understandably upset that an actor with a disability didn't get the part."




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