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Stop Giving Oscars to Actors Who Play the Disabled

This video, produced by the online platform Big Think, features Maysoon Zayid, an actress and comedian who was born with cerebral palsy. Zayid describes her experience online with commenters talking about her disability. She shares her experiences as an actress/comedian with a disability, specifically how seeing disability portrayed in the media has affected her. She also discusses how these portrayals may affect the public’s view of disability.

discussion

What are some examples disability portrayals shared by Zayid? Have you seen any of these portrayals in film or other media?

What does Zayid say about the accuracy of these portrayals?

Zayid talks about disability being used as a plot device. How is this different from the way other characters are portrayed in films?

In what ways do actors without disability who play disabled characters potentially shape the way we see and understand disability?