Alec Baldwin’s latest film Blind, in which he plays a visually-impaired writer, has received criticism for not casting a disabled actor in his role.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, an American philanthropic organisation that fights for the inclusion of disabled people, compared the casting to so-called blackface, where white actors are cast to play black characters.
Foundation president Jay Ruderman said on Wednesday: “Alec Baldwin in Blind is just the latest example of treating disability as a costume.
“We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters. Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
Baldwin, 59, who has been garnering worldwide attention for his impressions of US President Donald Trump, plays a novelist who lost his sight in a car crash that killed his wife.
The film, which will be released in the US on July 14, also stars Demi Moore as a woman who must care for Baldwin’s character as part of a plea bargain deal for her husband.
Ruderman released a report last year that laid bare the disparity between the proportion of disabled people in the public and that of those in acting.
It found people with disabilities make up 20% of the US population, but 95% of disabled TV characters are played by able-bodied actors.
However on the same day it criticised Blind, the foundation praised Jamie Foxx, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of blind musician Ray Charles, for his advocacy work.