Actress Katy Sullivan has written a piece with Deadline Hollywood criticizing actor and megastar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson for playing an amputee In Skyscraper. The actress who has starred in such television shows as My Name Is Earl, Last Man Standing and NCIS: New Orleans wrote:
My name is Katy Sullivan. I am an actress, Paralympian, double above-the-knee amputee from birth, and I have a request to ask of you. You seem like a genuinely good dude, so I hope this will be received in the spirit that it was intended: Actor to Actor.
Your most recent film, Skyscraper, opens this weekend. Cheers! Congratulations! However, my request is for you to stop saying “Yes” to roles like the one in that movie. And here’s why…
Individuals with disabilities make up almost 20% of the world’s population. We are the largest minority and the “most marginalized group in Hollywood,” according to a 2017 study conducted by Fox, CBS and the Ruderman Family Foundation (an organization I know you are aware of and engaging with now). The study found that in last year’s TV season, less than 2% of characters were written to have a disability and of THOSE characters, 95% of the roles were filled with able-bodied actors.
We need more A-list celebrities like you saying “no” to taking away roles from our community. And until that happens, I will have continue to consider taking that job as Miranda Otto cut in half just to try to make my health insurance for the year.
It’s when we all band together to do the right thing for TRUE inclusion and diversity that we start to change not only the landscape of our entertainment but through that, we change the perception of what individuals with disabilities are capable of doing (in general).
With all due respect to Katy Sullivan who I’m sure is a great person…
The victimhood narrative needs to stop. Just because you didn’t get a role as a disabled person in a film, doesn’t mean you are a victim. Just because you didn’t get a role as a transgender person, doesn’t mean you are a victim. Just because male critics are reviewing your film, doesn’t mean you are a victim. If The Rock didn’t star in Skyscraper, there will be no movie, end of story. Big name actors draw box office attention and production dollars to a film, if they don’t star in these films, Hollywood will not make them and everyone is out of a job, ask Scarlett Johansson.
This self-cannibalization of Hollywood is going to bring down the entire industry like the Berlin Wall if someone doesn’t step up and say enough is enough sooner than later.