A blind Alec Baldwin is akin to wearing “blackface,” a leading disability organization claims.
The actor’s portrayal as a blind man in the upcoming film “Blind” was denounced by The Ruderman Family Foundation, which focuses on the inclusion of all people throughout society, as a disgrace to the disabled community.
“Alec Baldwin in ‘Blind’ is just the latest example of treating disability as a costume,” the foundation’s president, Jay Ruderman, said in a statement.
Ruderman also used the term “crip-face” to describe Baldwin’s portrayal — likening it to the common term “blackface.”
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“We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters,” he continued. “Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
In the upcoming July 14 film, Baldwin’s character loses his sight and his wife in a tragic car accident. He then meets a wealthy socialite played by Demi Moore, who is forced to read to him as part of a plea deal after her husband is indicted for a white collar crime. Moore and Baldwin’s characters eventually become lovers.
Baldwin — who is hot off his impersonations of President Trump on “Saturday Night Live” — is not the first actor to play a blind man.
Jamie Foxx took home the Academy Award in 2004 for his work in “Ray” — where he acted as legendary blind soul musician Ray Charles.
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Years prior, Al Pacino acted as a blind man in the 1992 classic “Scent of a Woman,” which also landed him an Academy Award.
The foundation has previously taken issue with able-bodied actors playing those with disabilities. Last July, the organization released a study, which noted about 95% of characters with disabilities were played by those without.
Marlee Matlin, a well-known deaf actress, spoke about the lack of representation of actors with disabilities on the big screen during a roundtable event hosted by the Ruderman Family Foundation in November.”
There is something wrong with this picture,” Matlin said at the time.
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“We as an industry keep talking about diversity — we know we have a problem,” she continued.
“But, sadly, when we start speaking about diversity, disability seems to be left out far too often.”
Nearly half of all Oscars for Best Actor roles have gone to able-bodied men playing people with disabilities, according to the organization’s report.
Most recently, Eddie Redmayne received the Academy Award in 2015 for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, who has ALS, in “The Theory of Everything.”
The foundation also blasted the recent casting of a non-disabled actor, Sam Claflin, as a paralyzed character in “Me Without You.”
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