Belfast Telegraph

Peers told UK broadcasters have ‘fear factor’ about hiring disabled actors

The House Of Lords Communications Committee heard views on diversity.

There is reluctance to cast disabled actors, it has been claimed (Andrew Matthews/PA)
There is reluctance to cast disabled actors, it has been claimed (Andrew Matthews/PA)

UK public service broadcasters have been accused of having a “fear factor” about casting disabled actors.

Calls have been made for the “abhorrent” practice of casting able-bodied actors in disabled roles to be ended.

The House Of Lords Communications Committee heard evidence on the state of diversity in modern UK broadcasting.

Disability consultant Jonathan Kaye urged politicians to condemn the casting of able-bodied actors in disabled roles, and said producers were afraid to do otherwise.

He said: “They have a fear factor. There’s big fear factor.

“There is this abhorrent practice within this industry of giving disabled people’s roles to able-bodied people, until this industry gets a grip and realises that if there is a disabled character in a play or in a drama, then you should give it to a disabled actor.

“The same is true of Hollywood. We need to come down on this, and say this is wrong, this is the year 2019.

“We should be saying with one united voice, enough is enough.”

Broadcasters have been contacted for comment.

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