Archive of topics from before June 2012. PM a mod to get one reopened.
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By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Posts
#218536
ezinra wrote:There's an Undateables thread here.

I'd be interested to hear ideas for how to improve the visibility of people with disabilities in the media without being patronising or freakshowy.
Well here's an idea. You could invite them to appear in shows that aren't all about their disability.

Even the shows we regard as good (QT)? fall into the obvious trap.
"Yes further back, Wheelchair lady with a question about blue badges".
Which reduces wheelchair lady's entire media being to her disability.

How many times do we see a person with a disability on a chat show when disability isn't a discussion topic.

I feel I'm making my point extremely poorly here, but the only exceptions I can really think of (people with disabilities who aren't pigeonholed) are David Blunkett and Dame Tanii-Grey Thompson.

Please chime in if I'm making sense or not.
By Patrick100
Membership Days
#218622
Andy McDandy wrote:Yes, I believe he may well be the war reporter (Frank Gardner?) who got a bit blown up. Although that probably translates into 'I'm hard' credentials for a war reporter and possibly leads us towards the entire area of honourable/dishonourable wounds, and if taken even further, good/bad AIDS.
Not blown up but shot, several times.
On 6 June 2004, while reporting from Al-Suwaidi,[6] a suburb of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Gardner was shot six times and seriously injured in an attack by al-Qaeda sympathisers.[7] His colleague Irish cameraman Simon Cumbers was shot dead. Of the bullets which hit Gardner in his torso (others passed through his shoulder and leg) most missed his major organs yet one hit his spinal nerves and he was left partly paralysed in the legs and dependent on a wheelchair. The Saudi Arabian government had forced Gardner to use official minders, who ran away once the firing started. The Saudi government promised compensation but in the end they never paid.[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Gardner_(journalist" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
By satnav
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#218640
In most of the soaps they seem to prefer characters to have a mental illness rather than a physical disability because it makes for better drama. Emmerdale did have a character who was paralysed but the story soon became more about his assisted suicide rather than his disability. Coronation Street have recently done well with the character of Izzy, she has become an established member of the cast and most of her story lines don't concentrate on her disability.

I'm trying to remember the sitcom that Jasper Carrot did a few years back with Meera Syal where they had a disabled son in a wheelchair. The story lines were meant to be based around how the son saw his parents doing various things but there was actually no way he could follow round his parents without them being aware he was there so the concept was totally flawed.
 
By hel
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#219461
satnav wrote:I'm trying to remember the sitcom that Jasper Carrot did a few years back with Meera Syal where they had a disabled son in a wheelchair. The story lines were meant to be based around how the son saw his parents doing various things but there was actually no way he could follow round his parents without them being aware he was there so the concept was totally flawed.
"All About Me."
By storygirl
Membership Days Posts
#219472
satnav wrote:In most of the soaps they seem to prefer characters to have a mental illness rather than a physical disability because it makes for better drama. Emmerdale did have a character who was paralysed but the story soon became more about his assisted suicide rather than his disability. Coronation Street have recently done well with the character of Izzy, she has become an established member of the cast and most of her story lines don't concentrate on her disability.

I'm trying to remember the sitcom that Jasper Carrot did a few years back with Meera Syal where they had a disabled son in a wheelchair. The story lines were meant to be based around how the son saw his parents doing various things but there was actually no way he could follow round his parents without them being aware he was there so the concept was totally flawed.

And of course corrie had Haley, sadly not played by a transgender actress but the way that every ploy didn't hang on one aspect of her was very positive.

Generally kids shows are far better at this, Tracey Beaker has a boy with aspergers and another with Cerebral Palsy, they are simply characters in the ensemble cast and have story lines that rarely refer to their disabilities.
By Althea
Membership Days Posts
#219479
storygirl wrote: And of course corrie had Haley, sadly not played by a transgender actress but the way that every ploy didn't hang on one aspect of her was very positive.
The actress, I believe, is also quite a fighter for LGBT rights or something along those lines.

Very, very positive woman, I'd say.
By DTR
Membership Days Membership Days
#219508
Althea wrote:
storygirl wrote: And of course corrie had Haley, sadly not played by a transgender actress but the way that every ploy didn't hang on one aspect of her was very positive.
The actress, I believe, is also quite a fighter for LGBT rights or something along those lines.

Very, very positive woman, I'd say.
And bizarrely enough used to be Yvette Cooper's flatmate.

https://mobile.twitter.com/juliehes/sta ... 5305974784
By jguazu
Membership Days
#219594
ezinra wrote:There's also the coroner in CSI:Las Vegas. Artie, the wheelchair user in Glee, is a bit more complex: his disability is used as a plot and character point, but then that's kind of the point of Glee; and of course the actor playing Artie is not a wheelchair user irl. But as you say, America's different. There was a good film a few years ago called The station agent whose central character was a dwarf.
Andy McDandy wrote:But this gets back to my old comment about how it's rare for any character in a British drama to be in any way 'different' without the drama in some way being about that difference.
Indeed. I was thinking more particularly about non-fiction, though — about real people with disabilities in documentaries, news media, etc. I think the primary difficulty is that so few disabled people work in the media; everything gets mediated through able-bodied eyes.
The third Blade film had a vampire-killing scientist in it whose disability had nothing to do with the plot - I guess that's the sort of thing that there should be more of (disabled characters who aren't totally defined by their disability, I mean, not vampire-killing scientists). On Channel 4, Hollyoaks isn't too bad - there was a girl in a wheelchair on there a couple of years back who was just a pretty mundane character, and Shameless had a wheelchair user in it recently whose story wasn't just about her disability (Frank's son's girlfriend - not the crazy old Irish lady), though she was only in it for a few episodes.
By TOONARMY
Membership Days
#219659
jguazu wrote:
ezinra wrote:There's also the coroner in CSI:Las Vegas. Artie, the wheelchair user in Glee, is a bit more complex: his disability is used as a plot and character point, but then that's kind of the point of Glee; and of course the actor playing Artie is not a wheelchair user irl. But as you say, America's different. There was a good film a few years ago called The station agent whose central character was a dwarf.
Andy McDandy wrote:But this gets back to my old comment about how it's rare for any character in a British drama to be in any way 'different' without the drama in some way being about that difference.
Indeed. I was thinking more particularly about non-fiction, though — about real people with disabilities in documentaries, news media, etc. I think the primary difficulty is that so few disabled people work in the media; everything gets mediated through able-bodied eyes.
The third Blade film had a vampire-killing scientist in it whose disability had nothing to do with the plot - I guess that's the sort of thing that there should be more of (disabled characters who aren't totally defined by their disability, I mean, not vampire-killing scientists). On Channel 4, Hollyoaks isn't too bad - there was a girl in a wheelchair on there a couple of years back who was just a pretty mundane character, and Shameless had a wheelchair user in it recently whose story wasn't just about her disability (Frank's son's girlfriend - not the crazy old Irish lady), though she was only in it for a few episodes.
Another thing thats annoying is when soaps use non disabled characters for disabled roles,
 
By crabcakes_windermere
Membership Days Posts
#219883
oboogie wrote: I used to have a teaching colleague with one arm which ended just below the elbow. He delighted in making up far fetched explanations for inquisitive students, bears, sharks, crocodiles, wolves all had their turn at copping the blame. My favourite though was the Pythonesque "eaten by a tiger whilst on safari in Africa": "A tiger?!!? In Africa?!!?" "Yes, it had escaped from a zoo apparently. Million to one chance. Bloody bad luck really." That one we kept going for more than a term.
My chum Mike is of the same mindset - and he absolutely loathes anyone pussy-footing about why he has half an arm. Consequently, he tends to think up far worse things than we could ever say/do: we once used his false arm to play cricket on a beach (much to the horror of passer-by once they figured out what was going on) and then buried it in the sand clutching a coke can, another time we attached it to a helium balloon at a wedding and sent it off floating round the room at waist height, and worst of all was a comedy talent show at university where we shoved a sealed, jam-filled Marigold up his empty sleeve, and presented him as "captain pain barrier" and invited an unwitting member of the audience to smash his "hand" with a hammer, causing the jam-filled glove to explode!
 
By Samanfur
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#220239
Andy McDandy wrote:A good friend of mine was born with a right arm that ends at the elbow. When I first met him, I asked him how it had happened (i.e. was it lost in an accident or had he been born with his arm like that etc) and he said he was relieved I'd asked, as he was fed up with people 'just pretending' everything about him was fine, when it was obviously this huge elephant in the room. Everyone could see he didn't have the normal complement of arms, but by not mentioning it out of politeness they just made him feel more uncomfortable.
Personally, I simply never asked him because it didn't feel like something it was necessary to point out. It's a self-evident condition and unless he was having a problem doing something - which I've never seen him do - it felt like I'd be foregrounding it needlessly by bringing it up.

Although I had the same conversation some years back with a certain mutual friend of ours with a thalidomide-derived complement of fingers, Andy (for the uninitiated, this chap's a dab hand with a guitar, and it came up in conversation, since I was asking him for tips on chords and he can't hit them in quite the same way I can). He just wondered what'd taken me so long to get around to asking in the first place.
By smod
Membership Days Posts
#226170
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Ruined My Life: An Open Letter to Channel 4

Dear Channel 4,

I am writing to you with the hope that you will stop ruining my life. While your obsession with my ethnicity is flattering, it has become somewhat apparent to me that you might have gotten the wrong end of the stick. This is sort of awkward for me, because I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but your documentary, ’Big Fat Gypsy Weddings‘, is unfortunately a work of fiction. There is no need to be embarrassed, it can happen to the best of us, and thus I hope my letter will help you establish the facts, after all I’m sure you are passionate about fighting discrimination against ethnic minorities. Don’t be modest now, we know you are…right?

It surprised me to discover that 99% of Britain’s Gypsy and Traveller population are Irish. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I am sure you have done lots and lots of research on this topic, but just 10% of the Gypsy andTraveller population are actually Irish Travellers. The majority, like myself, are in fact Romany, yet your ‘documentary’ seems to ignore our existence. While I have nothing but respect for the Irish Traveller community, you seem to be unaware that we are two distinct ethnic groups and thus there are many differences between our cultures. While Irish Travellers originate from Ireland, we can trace our routes back to India, so it was hardly surprising that I was somewhat confused when you use the word Gypsy in the title of your ‘documentary’ about Irish Travellers. I was even more confused when your ‘documentary’ about Irish Travellers seemed to feature an alien culture that even most Irish Traveller’s didn’t recognise.

You correctly identified that many Gypsy and Traveller children leave school at a young age, however you failed to mention that this is not because we are all born to terrible parents, but because our communities suffer from great social exclusion. State education fails to adapt to anything but mainstream culture, thus we have to contend with a curriculum that is totally irrelevant to our way of life. Moreover, both teachers and students seem ignorant of our cultures, thus we are labelled as troublemakers and bullied for being different. The myths that you have been spreading have not helped matters. Indeed, I was subjected to physical attacks during your last series of your ‘documentary’ which ultimately led to my expulsion from school (long story), whilst my 12 year old cousin was beat up on her way home from school by a gang of girls who were calling her a prostitute.

As you can see, there are many reasons as to why Gypsy and Traveller children are failing to attend school, but you seem to have forgotten to feature those of us that do stay in education. Take myself, for example, I’m currently at college studying a range of subjects such as, History and Sociology. Moreover, my sister trained to be a hairdresser, my aunty went to university and is now a social worker and some of my cousins completed apprenticeships, thus clearly dropping out of education is not a prerequisite of living in a trailer.

Your ‘documentary’ has an unhealthy obsession with little girls. While I understand that the outfits worn by some of your younger stars could be considered a little risqué, I see only little girls having fun and dressing up for a special occasion. Your ‘documentary’ appears to be suggesting that we are inappropriately sexualising our children, yet the only people who are sexualising our children are the viewers who watch them and think they are sexy. In reality, our little girls can mostly be found in velour tracksuits and handmade frilly dresses, so I would suggest you should stop filming little girls dancing if you are finding that this is turning on your viewers.

My 12 year old cousin was beat up on her way home from school by a gang of girls who were calling her a prostitute.

After watching the last series of your ‘documentary’ it finally hit me why I was so unlucky in love. I would have been married by now, if only I had known that the key to a women’s heart was to sexually assault her using a gypsy courting ritual called ‘grabbing’. I asked my brother if he had grabbed his wife, but it turned out he had just asked her out on a date instead. It appears that in reality, no one actually knows what grabbing is, in fact Gypsy and Traveller men actually have a lot of respect for their women after all.

Speaking of love, I’ve been to many Gypsy and Traveller weddings, but I’m yet to attend a wedding where the bride’s dress weighs more than my whole family. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some huge dresses but there is something you need to know: Thelma Madine is lying to you, she’s not our dressmaker of choice. In fact, I’m kind of embarrassed for her because no one actually knows who she is and everything she says about us is actually untrue. Basically, you’ve been conned, so I suggest you find a new spokesperson for the Gypsy and Traveller communities, such as an actual Gypsy or Traveller like my Baba (grandma), she makes some right nice clothes you know.

It’s hardly surprising that people are watching your ‘documentary’ purely to laugh at us, because even I laugh at the monstrosities that Thelma Madine creates. It is a shame that you haven’t featured any Gypsy or Traveller designers because the clothing that we were actually more traditionally known for before your ‘documentary’, is actually far more interesting than amusing. Last year, Leeds University Union thought it would be okay to laugh at the Gypsy and Traveller communities by hosting a Big Fat Gypsy Weddings fancy dress party. While the union holds events throughout the year to celebrate other ethnic minorities, your ‘documentary’ encouraged them to incite ethnic hatred. You’ll be pleased to know that due to complaints from yours truly and friends, the event was shelved.

You seem to have misunderstood what a documentary about Gypsies should entail. Gypsies (as in Romany Gypsies that are completely different to Irish Travellers, that are like totally not Irish Travellers at all, get it?) are Europe’s largest and most deprived ethnic minority. The majority of Romani people have never been to Rathkeale, let alone own houses there. In fact, most live in great poverty and I suggest you read my previous blogs. We suffer from discrimination on a daily basis and our human rights have historically been violated, yet you deem it acceptable to broadcast a misleading ‘documentary’ that has been made not to raise awareness of our plight but for entertainment. We are not a joke, we are human beings and your work of fiction is only strengthening stereotypes and ignorance.

Unlike those who star in your ‘documentary’ I am not after 5 minutes of fame, but what I am asking for, is for you to put humans above ratings. You can’t ignore us forever.

Yours sincerely,

Pip
http://www.sabotagetimes.com/tv-film/my ... channel-4/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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