“Why are non-disabled people writing about disability without consultation?” the British actor said
British actor Adam Pearson is speaking out about the stereotypical roles that are usually offered to actors with disabilities.
The A Different Man star, 39, recently spoke to Variety about how these roles typically come across as inauthentic on screen.
“Normally there are three kinds of roles or tropes or stereotypes, whatever vernacular one wants to use,” he explained. “There’s either the villain — that because I have a disfigurement, I want to kill Batman or James Bond. Then there’s the victim — the ‘woe is me,’ small violin.”
“And then there’s the hero — that because I have a disfigurement but do regular dude stuff, whatever regular dude stuff is, I’m somehow braver than the average guy,” he said.
Pearson then agreed that the creatives have a responsibility to address these stereotypes when writing scripts.
“I think it’s lazy writing,” he admitted. “Why are non-disabled people writing about disability without consultation? Because when that happens, the end result you might get it right once but nine times out of 10 it’s going to be really inauthentic and inaccurate and serve not only the disabled community accordingly but disabled cinema lovers accordingly.”
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Pearson was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic condition that leaves his skin covered in thousands of thick, painful tumors.
Neurofibromatosis 1 affects about 100,000 people throughout the United States, and only a few million in the world, Dr. Kaleb Yohay, the director of NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center, previously told PEOPLE. Patients either get the disorder from their parents or a random genetic mutation.
Pearson stars in A Different Man alongside Sebastian Stan and Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve.
In the film, which is written and directed by Aaron Schimberg, Stan plays a character named Edward who has neurofibromatosis and undergoes "major facial reconstruction surgery" and then grows obsessed with an actor who plays him in a stage play based on Edward's life, according to Variety.
Pearson also appeared in 2013's Under the Skin.
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