BBC Criticized For Starring In "The Elephant Man"

BBC Criticized For Starring In "The Elephant Man"
BBC Criticized For Starring In "The Elephant Man"
Video: BBC Criticized For Starring In "The Elephant Man"
Video: THE BROKEN COG - industrial aesthetics in THE ELEPHANT MAN - film analysis 2023, February

The BBC has been criticized for choosing actor Charlie Heaton ("Stranger Things") to star in the remake of "The Elephant Man," according to the BBC. The audience did not like that Heaton got the role of a person with a disability, Joseph Merik. Charitable organizations and actors were outraged by the BBC's choice. For example, Phil Talbot, head of communications at Scope, an organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities, called the BBC's choice "disappointing." In a statement, he noted that "actors with disabilities continue to face frequent obstacles in the film industry." “There are so many talented actors with disabilities who are overlooked. In creative fields, diversity and difference should be encouraged, not ignored,”he added.

Disabled actress Lisa Hammond also spoke negatively about the BBC's decision on her Twitter: "Oh, how familiar it is: a real character with a disability is played by an actor without a disability … Not only can we not pretend to be ordinary people, we are not even allowed to tell our own stories." - she said.

In response to criticism, the BBC stated that The Elephant Man is “a cult drama that has played an important role in highlighting the changing attitudes towards people with disabilities,” while noting that the company is currently recruiting actors with disabilities for various roles first plan.

The premiere of the remake of "The Elephant Man" is scheduled for 2019.

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