Study Shows More Injury Stories Onscreen, But Few Injured Actors


Let’s start with the good news: Depictions of major disability in movies and television programs have nearly tripled in the last decade compared to the previous 10 years.

However, almost all of these games still do not have disabled players.

This was a result new work It was published Wednesday by Nielsen and nonprofit RespectAbility, which analyzes the representation of characters with disabilities in movies and TV shows airing from 1920 to 2020..

The titles came from a Nielsen database of more than 90,000 movies and TV shows released in the last century. Of these, 3,000 titles were tagged as having significant disability themes or content.

Movies were more successful than television—about 64 percent (1,800) of depictions of disabled characters were in feature films and 16 percent (448) were in regular TV shows. (The remaining depictions were in other categories, such as short films, limited series, TV movies, or special films.) The database also identified a marked increase in the number of disability-themed productions from 41 in 2000 to 150 in 2020.

According to the report, approximately one in four adults in the United States has a physical or psychological disability.

A survey attached to the study also found that people with disabilities were slightly more likely to have slightly more trouble with depictions of characters with disabilities. Viewers with disabilities were 8 percent more likely than non-disabled people to misidentify a TV depiction and 7 percent more likely to say that characters with disabilities were underrepresented on screen.

Lauren Appelbaum, Vice President of RespectAbility, said that while the number of characters with disabilities continues to increase, about 95 percent of these roles are still played by actors without a disability.

“When disability is part of a character’s story, content can often position people with disabilities as someone to be pitied or someone to be treated, rather than portraying people with disabilities as full members of our society,” he said.

Several films featuring disabled characters made headlines last year: “Sound of Metal,” which tells the story of a drummer (Riz Ahmed) who has lost his hearing, was criticized for recruiting hearing actor Paul Raci. A child of deaf adults as a deaf mentor to Ahmed’s character. (race He said he felt comfortable with the casting because his character lost his hearing in the Vietnam War and wasn’t born deaf.) CBS also has an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Stand.” face to face For portraying Henry Zaga as Nick Andros, a deaf and pointing character throughout the series.

Warner Bros. of Anne Hathaway’s Roald Dahl story as a shapeless witch with hands. last fall’s adaptation of “The Witches” was criticized for its resemblance to split hands or ectrodactyly. The controversy over portraying disability as bad.

But there are also positive representations like Pixar’s “Luca,” which takes the rare step of portraying a character who was born armless and has different limbs. without making it a defining feature.

The report, which marks the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, is the first of a three-part series by Nielsen and RespectAbility that will also analyze disabled audiences’ representations of disability in advertisements and media perceptions. These reports will be published in August.


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