In the upcoming drama Blind, due out July 14, Alec Baldwin stars as a visually impaired novelist who, after the fatal car crash that left him without his wife or his vision, begins to rediscover life and his writing.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, an advocacy group for those with disabilities, has come out against the movie’s choice to cast Baldwin as blind man, saying on their Facebook page that they are disappointed with the casting, adding that the production is “once again overlooking the opportunity to cast actors with disabilities.”
Foundation chairman Jay Ruderman elaborated to the Los Angeles Times, saying: “We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters. Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
Blind is the latest Hollywood movie to be condemned by disability groups for a lack of disabled talent in stories about disability. – Hollywood Reporter
Welp, Matt and I could’ve told you this was going to happen. Actually, we did tell you this was going to happen.
If you scroll to the 15:45 mark in the above video, we talked about the trailer for Blind on our podcast and how Alec Baldwin playing a blind guy was not only hysterical, but it would absolutely cause backlash from advocacy groups. Here we are a month later, and an advocacy group for people with disabilities is slamming the casting choice. I certainly understand where the advocacy group is coming from: it’s extremely frustrating to continue to tell stories about people with disabilities yet casting those roles with people who do not have those disabilities.
On the other hand, Hollywood is not going to cast a random blind guy in a movie called Blind. They’re just not. Hollywood isn’t the place for progressive views on a lot of things, and blind people are now on the list. You might as well be searching for gold in a place that has ‘WE DON’T HAVE GOLD’ signs posted everywhere. Is it fair? I don’t think so, but if you think a movie studio is going to put millions of dollars into a movie and cast a real life blind person just to please an advocacy group, you’re going to be pretty upset with the end result.