This commercial broadcast in the UK got me thinking about the way we view things. Spearheaded by Changing Faces, it examines preconceptions and looks at how cultural stereotypes determine how we think things will turn out. Of course most of us think the guy is bad, partly because he’s styled as a bad “monster” type persona. It turns out to be the opposite, and presents a teaching and learning opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on how we jump to conclusions based on appearances.
This is part of a larger campaign and petition aimed at changing how people with disfigurements, particularly facial disfigurements, are portrayed in film. I think that’s a great goal to ultimately have, to get people in films who happen to have disfigurements instead of the disfigured, sinister archetype who always plays the villain.
I’m interested to see where that goes, and if the UK (who is a little in ahead of the US in many disability issues) makes any headway on this. If nothing else, expanding the roles that are available to actors with disabilities would be wonderful. I’m always excited to see an actor or actress with a disability on screen, and believe that campaigns like this will only help expand the realm of possibilities for actors who just happen to have disabilities or disfigurements.