Disability charity slams BBC for casting able-bodied actor in new adaptation of ‘The Elephant Man’

Disability charity slams BBC for casting able-bodied actor in new adaptation of ‘The Elephant Man’
The original 'elephant man,' Joseph Merrick (Image: Wikipedia)

[Ed. – ‘Stage makeup be damned. Audiences want real disabled people playing disabled people!’]

It was announced last week that Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton would take on the role of The Elephant Man in BBC‘s titular new drama.

And disability charity Scope have criticised the casting choice, as they slammed the show runners on Wednesday for letting an able-bodied actor play Joseph Merrick.

Speaking to the Press Association, Scope’s head of communications Phil Talbot said: ‘It’s disappointing that a disabled actor has not been cast in the remake of The Elephant Man, as it’s one of the most recognisable films to portray a disabled character.

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He continued: ‘This is a missed opportunity but sadly, a lack of diversity in the industry is nothing new.

‘Disabled actors still often face huge barriers to break in to the business, not only are the roles few and far between, but castings and locations are often not accessible.

‘There is a massive pool of disabled talent being overlooked. The creative industries should be embracing and celebrating difference and diversity, not ignoring it.’

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