NBC’s new show ‘Aam Jo’ is changing the representation of disability.

NBC Of common Premiered on September 20, 2021 and has already garnered at least 7 million viewers. The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, however; It follows Joe Cambro’s life, but unlike other shows, it’s not just a life story – it explores three different lives that Joe could have had. Everyone depends on what they choose after graduating from college and entering the adult world.

Related: ‘Run’ star Cara Allen made history by representing the disabled.

But that’s not the only reason the drama show is unique. This is one of the few shows in which a disabled main character is actually played by a disabled actor. Hardly anyone is disabled. the role On TV and when someone does, they are usually played by capable actors who misrepresent them. Of common It is finally starting to change. Here’s how to put one together for use with your new show. Disability Represented on TV.


6.
It is one of the few TV shows featuring a disabled actor.

Hollywood has a habit of casting capable actors for disabled characters. Over the years, networks and production companies have turned a blind eye to actors with disabilities and failed to show the world how talented they are. But NBC has begun to change that. He just cast a disabled actor for his new show, Of common. John Gulk plays Joe’s son, Christopher (and Lucas, who is his name in another world), in the form of muscular dystrophy.

In an interview with NBC4 Washington.“Muscle dystrophy is usually not well represented on television, and even when it is there, most of the time it is not played by an actor who is, in fact,” said John. When I saw the casting call for it, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s just me.’ Just go for it and I never thought it would take me here.

5.
It has real tools that people with disabilities use (and doesn’t make a big deal about it).

There have been only a few episodes so far, but in some of them you can see medical devices in Christopher’s room. Her wheelchair is already a breakthrough, as most TV shows feature only manual wheelchairs. John Guilk actually uses a custom electric wheelchair to play Christopher. Because disabled characters are usually portrayed by capable physical actors, this is not usually what you see on TV. Although there are many people with disabilities who use manual wheelchairs, this shows that there are more types of wheelchairs.

In addition to her wheelchair, you can see what the elevator and her room look like in a hospital bed. He even sat in the airlift in one episode to show his mother how to use Christopher during the transfer. Many people with disabilities, especially those with muscular dystrophy, use this type of equipment every day. Best of all, the show doesn’t make a big deal out of Christopher’s use and only shows the goods as part of everyday life.

4.
Christopher’s disability was not portrayed as negatively as other TV shows and movies.

In addition to casting physically challenged actors, Hollywood has a habit of portraying disability in a negative light in TV shows and movies. If the disabled character is one of the main characters (which is not often the case), the story usually revolves around their disability and presents it as something they have to overcome or if they don’t. If you can, their life is not worth living. . It happens in almost every movie or TV show that has a main character who is disabled. Those movies and TV shows promote a really harmful stereotype. They feel that people with disabilities cannot live a happy and happy life. If Hollywood continues to present this stereotype, more and more people will be affected by it. Not only does it make people with disabilities feel unhappy, it also makes them look at others differently, which can make them feel even worse.

Of common Although it does not. Joe and Christopher’s mother, Jenny, sometimes talk about their disability, but not in a negative way. There was a time when Jenny said she wished she knew she had a neurological disorder at the time of her son’s birth so that she could be more prepared for the challenge she faced, but the only negative in the script was this. Line. The rest of the show doesn’t talk much about it and treats Christopher like any other teenager, as it should.

Related: These celebrities live their lives with hidden disabilities.

3.
One of the show’s producers and writers has a son who has a muscle disorder.

Garrett Lerner, one of the show’s leading authors and producers, based some of his shows on real life. The show’s creator, Matt Reeves, wanted it to be something relevant to the audience. He told Garrett to get involved when he wrote the script, so he drew inspiration from his real family, including his son, who has muscular dystrophy. According to Collider“We put a lot of ourselves into it, as Matt Reeves encouraged; Joe’s son, we called this disease spinal cord atrophy, which is also my son’s. So, you You know, the phrase ‘bleeding on the page’ – just to open yourself up and make it really honest and fit our lives, and hopefully it will come up with the best product.

Spinal cord atrophy (SMA) is a form of muscular dystrophy. Although John Gulak does not have SMA (he has collagen VI muscular dystrophy), he still has a role to play in muscular dystrophy and to which he may be related. Because. Of common Based on the experience of Garrett Lerner, who has a son with muscular dystrophy, viewers can see what it is like to live with a disability and see that disability is not a shame.

2.
A well-known author and YouTuber consulted on the show with muscular dystrophy.

In addition to hiring a disabled actor, NBC also hired a disabled writer to advise on the show. We can see that they are definitely trying to diversify their shows and it is paying off. He hired Shane Burke, a well-known author and YouTuber as a technical consultant, as he has an SMA and can help make Christopher’s character more authentic. He has a YouTube channel called Squirmy and Grubs with his wife Hina, who has gained more than 800,000 subscribers in the last three years. Shane tweeted, “I’m a disabled writer. Last summer, I got my first TV gig, consulting for #OrdinaryJoe’s Reuters Room. It premiered tonight at 10pm ET on BCNBC. Yes, and in addition to being a great show, it also includes an amazingly authentic disability representation. Let’s get this kid on trend !!! ”

Garrett Lerner’s experience with a disabled child already helps to validate the show, but it’s a different experience to be disabled than to be a parent of a disabled child. Shane’s approach could make Christopher’s character more realistic. It rarely happens that disabled writers become part of such big TV shows, so this is a breakthrough for the disabled community.

Related: The best NBC shows of the last 30 years, rated.

1.
Christopher is one of the few major disabled characters in a TV show.

Christopher may not be the main character of the show, but he is still one of the main characters. So far, he has been in every episode and the other characters mention him a lot since he is the son of the main character. This is a big deal because most disabled characters are not central characters and usually do not have parts of their speech. According to Respect the ability.A new report from GLAAD shows a slight increase in the series’ regular characters with disabilities in the Broadcast Scripted series, which has risen from 3.1% to 3.5% for the 2020-2021 season. This represents an increase of 12.9%.

Although the percentage has increased slightly over the past year, the GLAAD report also states that “this number drastically reduces the actual American population living with disabilities.” More than 20% of the population is disabled, so 3.1% is really low and there is no absolute representation of the disabled community. This misrepresentation misleads viewers about the world and wipes out an entire segment of the population. But as it turns out. Of common We are starting to change that and hopefully we will see more shows like this in the future.

Next: This role in Pixar’s ‘Luca’ is changing the way we look at children’s disabilities.


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