I began writing a reply to a comment to my earlier blog post, ‘Why are Dwarfs Funny?’ where I highlighted my concerns about the rumoured Channel 4 show, ‘Seven Dwarves’, a fly on the wall doco about 7 Little People (LPs) working in Panto.
Last night I watched the show and to my utter suprise… I enjoyed it. It was funny, human and I could relate to many of the comments being made about how society views LPs. Also my boyfriend, enjoyed it and it brought up stuff for us to discuss, which is always positive.
The show was largely made enjoyable because the talent being filmed were witty and clever individuals, who uniquely complimented each other’s personalities. I will be watching again.
However, my problem is about broader representation. Television is too obsessed with observing people with disabilities in an ‘us and them’ fashion. I have never seen a disability lead program being commissioned, I mean in terms of production mode or the makeup of the production team. Instead the disabled person is passively observed and filmed.
I want dramas with disabled actors being cast in proper roles. I want actors like Max to have more opportunities than Panto… and they exist but not enough and not in a way that is cool.
If we were playing more ordinary people in soaps and dramas, as we do in life being doctors, teachers, lawyers… etc… I would be less concerned about skewing the publics view towards a stereotypical opinion and have felt less nervous about this new doco.
Little People do more than panto and allow people to pay to stare at them.
I want this to improve for disability across the board. TV ticks its disability quota with documentaries that are not disability lead or creatively driven by disabled people or artists.
The media so rarely fairly represents minority groups or gives a proper picture and until more programming addresses representation… I’ll worry for all of us and how we are viewed on the street.