Did you watch the Oscars last night? A common refrain heard from the winners was that representation matters. People who have been historically marginalized in Hollywood want to see people who look like them telling stories.
Wonder, received one nomination for best make up. However, when the nominations were announced in January, the criticism was swift. I first read about this while scrolling through the twitter feed of our kick off speaker, Sam Drazin.
If Wonder wins this Oscar, it will justify the egregious lack of disability representation in Hollywood. It will also send the message that it’s OK to imitate disabled characters instead of actually hiring disabled actors to tell their own stories. As a society, we’ve established that blackface, whitewashing, and cultural appropriation are big no-nos, but that disability simulations are OK. When will we stop treating disability as an afterthought, and start challenging disability movie tropes and tired narratives that do nothing to serve the communities they are about?
it was devastating to realize that the directors involved with Wonder would rather cast a healthy, “normal” looking child and put him in makeup and prosthetics, rather than cast someone who looked like me.
School Library Journal contributing editor Lauren Barack explores the critics take on disability representation in Wonder and Hollywood.
Join us on Saturday March 10 at 2pm at Robbins Library to meet Sam Drazin and learn why representation matters.