The Ruderman Family Foundation, an organization that advocates on behalf of people with disabilities, issued a statement this week criticizing actor Alec Baldwin for portraying a blind person in an upcoming film. Baldwin is currently set to star in the upcoming film Blind, in which he plays a novelist who loses both his wife and his vision in a car crash. (Later, he ends up in an affair with Demi Moore, playing a bored socialite who’s court-ordered to come read to him.)
Talking to the L.A. Times, Foundation president Jay Ruderman accused the film of engaging in what it calls “crip-face” by casting a sighted person in a blind role. “Alec Baldwin in Blind is just the latest example of treating disability as a costume,” Ruderman said, drawing parallels to conversations about whitewashing and other diversity-related casting questions. “We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters. Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
Blind arrives in theaters next week. Meanwhile, last year, the Ruderman Foundation issued a report showing that, while 20 percent of Americans have disabilities, 95 percent of media characters with disabilities are played by performers who don’t.