Two disability-related stories

I have probably been a rather lax disability commentator this week as I have failed to mention two quite large disability-related stories. The first is the news of a woman with dwarfism who allegedly held  up a train because someone refused to move their prom for her mobility scooter. I think that is disgusting: the woman was put through hell for sticking to her rights. The train company even tried to blame her for delaying the train. It’s a problem I encounter quite frequently on the busses, but I’ve never been as traumatised or humiliated as this woman was.

The second disability-related story I want to bring to everyone’s attention is the news that Dwayne Johnson will be playing a leg amputee in his next film, Skyscraper. It’s probably the former wrestler’s usual action-packed guff. The problem is, I’m not sure things like this should be acceptable. Of course, I’m all for as much onscreen disability representation as possible, but this is a clear case of an actor ‘cripping up’ to get attention. Surely characters with disabilities should be played by actors with disabilities. After all, it is definitely no longer acceptable for a white actor to ‘black up’ to play a black person; he has very little real experience of having a disability. Johnson has drawn widespread criticism from the  disability community for this, and frankly, so he should.

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