TV Characters with Disabilities


Image from chiealeman.com

Image from chiealeman.com

Diversity is important in television. As a young woman with cerebral palsy, I love having relatable role models on the small screen. Here are a few of the characters with disabilities I have watched this summer online.

Walt Jr from Breaking Bad Throughout the show, he struggles through his father’s diagnosis, parents’ divorce, and the secret he senses that his parents are hiding from him.  The character is not centered around his disability, also does not shy away from problems teens with CP face in real life, such as being bullied. The actor, RJ Mitte, has a  mild form of the disability in real life.

Daphne from Switched at Birth I don’t remember ever meeting a deaf person in real life, but that is what makes Switched at Birth characters like Daphne all the more interesting to me. We learn about deaf culture along with her new family, and she has said on mutiple occasions that her disability is a part of who she is, and that she would not change it, even if she got the chance. The actress,Katie Lecleric, is hard of hearing in real life.

Max from Parenthood Although there have been characters with Asberger-like traits, Max from Parenthood has been hailed as one of the most honest and realistic portrayls. The director has a child with Asbergers. This character is different than the other characters mentioned because he is a lot younger at the beginning of the series, which means the show is focused more on his parents. It does kind of make sense, considering the title of the TV show. Although the actor who plays Max does not share his condition,a Deseret News article said the executive producer of the show has a child with Asbergers in real life.

Campbell from Switched at Birth He is one of my favorite characters on television, and even tops this list. He is a pre med major and love interest of Daphne, and was paralyzed in a snowboarding accident. My favorite thing about this character is that if you take the disability away, you’re  still left with a fully developed and interesting character. This shows that RJ Mitte is playing a character and not just a disability. (Ok, so RJ Mitte may be one of favorite actors.)

 

I hope that as TV characters with disabilities become more common, attitudes are changed and that people with disabilities are viewed as equal members of society.

 

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