'You Never Go Full Prosthetic': The Most Yikes Hollywood Representations of Disability
When it comes to cinematic portrayals of disability, it's easy to slip into stereotypes or oversimplifications. From mental disability as a gimmick to abled actors playing disabled characters, the results can be offensive or even exploitative. Let's take a look at some of the most cringey moments in film history. We'll start with Roger Ebert's criticism of The Other Sister, which he called out for using mental disability as a gimmick and treating its characters like performing seals. Then there's the infamous I Am Sam and its anachronistic approach to autism representation. We'll also explore Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar-nominated performance in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder, which drew the ire of the Special Olympics.
We'll also look at Gary Oldman's bizarre role in Tiptoes, Rain Man's suffocating stereotypes, Daniel Day-Lewis' method acting in My Left Foot, Eddie Redmayne's pandering in The Theory of Everything, and Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Ray Charles' life journey.