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No Glee for disabled people

Only a few short weeks remain before the return of the Fox smash hit Glee, and Gleeks all over the world are trembling in anticipation. In some corners of the disability community however, we’re more glum than gleeful, wondering “how on earth did this show get renewed for not just one, but two seasons?”

Glee has attracted considerable controversy over the casting of a nondisabled actor, Kevin McHale, in the disabled role of Artie, but the problems with this show run much deeper than its casting. From the moment the pilot aired, disability rights activists were questioning not only why Glee was using cripface (the use of nondisabled actors in disabled roles), but why the show’s handling of disability was so atrocious.

Execrable episodes like “Wheels” or “Laryngitis” attracted considerable criticism, and revealed an interesting dichotomy among viewers. Nondisabled viewers reacted with praise and pleasure, feeling that these disability-centric episodes depicted disability honestly and accurately, while some disabled viewers felt that these episodes were offensive, appropriative and wildly inaccurate.

via No Glee for disabled people | SE Smith | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

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