The BBC’s Disability Bitch didn’t hate The King’s Speech, even though a non-disabled actor got the lead again:
Readers, I must be ill. This week, I went to the cinema and saw a film where a non-disabled man played a disabled monarch, and I didn’t find myself overcome with hatred.
The film in question was The King’s Speech. Colin Firth plays George VI, who had a severe stammer and feared public speaking, but managed to become a glorious orator with the assistance of an eccentric Australian speech therapist.
Usually I’d hate such sentimental pap, except it’s supposed to be historically accurate and was scripted by a bloke who stammers himself and it was, y’know, kinda quite good, actually.
Everyone knows that a big name actor playing a disabled character may as well just tattoo the word ‘Oscar’ on his forehead – can you say Forrest Gump? – and it’s no surprise that Firth has already won some big awards for this performance.
It’s become a boring cliché. Yet again a Normal actor’s going to win big prizes for playing Abnormal.
I’m Disability Bitch, I’m supposed to be throwing popcorn at the screen in protest, I think. Instead, I merely shrugged and noted that there are informative articles about stammering in every single newspaper in the world this week. And I’m only slightly exaggerating.
I’m mainly just happy that there’s now a good portrayal in popular entertainment that doesn’t use stammering as a comedic device, and that it doesn’t involve sometime teen pop sensation Gareth Gates.