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Disability sometimes is represented in tv shows or in movies and the problem isn’t that wheelchair users are never pictured on television but ninety-nine percent of the time it’s poor representation and would never happen. I don’t generally seek out movies about disabled characters because most of them are played by abled people and are trash, but I do enjoy a good crime scene show. I know that there are probably tons of inaccuracies in crime scene shows but because I am not in law enforcement, I don’t know what they are so I can enjoy them, and I would like to keep it that way. Bones is one of my favorite crime scene shows and I enjoyed most of the series until there was a plot twist and the writers decided to paralyze one of their main characters. I love this show and will probably continue to watch most of the series but if I had to be totally honest the end was trash, and I will probably never watch it again because it was painful to watch once. Many shows that try to incorporate disabled character are very poorly done because they don’t consult disabled people and make our lives sad or depressing. In this post I am going to talk about why the ending of Bones was so horrible and painful to watch.
Portrayed disabled people as angry- The biggest problem I saw with this series is how angry they made their disabled character because no one would ever be that angry that I am surprised they didn’t make him violent and starting to punch walls! If you suddenly became disabled it would affect you emotionally and you may struggle with depression, but you wouldn’t all of sudden become a mean person. I know a lot of disabled people who get frustrated with their disabilities myself included but I don’t know a single person who uses that as an excuse to be mean to their caregivers. Caregivers will do whatever they can to make a disabled person’s life easier, but they will not bow down to disabled people because they feel bad for them. If a disabled person was unappreciative of their caregivers and made that very clear with the way they talked to them I wouldn’t be surprised if that person stopped doing things for them and said, do it yourself. Disabled people appreciate their caregivers and even though life is hard sometimes we don’t treat them poorly because we need them to do things for us and can’t afford for them to walk away. If a disabled person was really that angry with their disability and was struggling with acceptance, they would seek professional help because caregivers wouldn’t put up with being mistreated.
Accessibility was praised on- I hate when shows make accessibility look like this it’s this wonderful thing that abled people give us that we deserved. Accessibility is not an option for disabled people but it’s something we need to move more easily, and I can’t even begin to explain the feeling of being denied access because you literally can’t enter. Businesses should not be praised for being accessible because you are only doing what is legally required of you and all that shows is that you know how to follow rules. I don’t expect businesses to totally nail accessibility but when you don’t even try I frown upon that because that shows you don’t want the business of disabled people. I am not impressed when shows are forced to incorporate some kind of accessibility because of some tragedy in their plot and if you want to keep me on the edge of my seat make your set accessible from the beginning. Accessibility is not something that you do when it’s convenient but is what disabled people are thinking about constantly and should not be praised when businesses take the innovative to be more accessible because they should have been doing it the whole time. Accessibility is not a medal of honor but it’s freedom for disabled people!
I guess you can’t work now– Every show that I have seen that tries to incorporate disabled people in some way has some form of discrimination which tells me that many filmmakers aren’t familiar with disability, and they should consult with someone who is. There was a lot of emphasis on disabled people staying home not working because of their disabilities made it too difficult. Unless you have a physically demanding job that would be impossible to work with your new disability, I don’t see why disabled people have to stop working. Disabled people need to make a living just like abled people do and how do you expect us to do that if we don’t have a job. If someone was fired from their job because of their disability a business should expect some serious law suits because that is discrimination. Disabled people don’t go around suing people for every act of inaccessibility but if you were to fire them because they became disabled you best believe we wouldn’t forget about that experience and would make sure business owners wouldn’t either so they wouldn’t do it to someone else. What ever happened to asking disabled people what accessibility they would need to be successful at their job? Replacing your disabled employees is not the solution because disabled people can excel in their careers just like abled people and accessibility is a lot cheaper than you think!
A cure is as simple as a new doctor- I was glad that there wasn’t a whole lot of emphasis on being cured like there are for most tv shows but there was some mention of it. Do you have a spinal cord injury? Your doctor may be the problem and just go to another super-smart neurosurgeon and they will solve all your problems. Disability wouldn’t exist if being cured was as simple as getting a second opinion but unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Some disabilities have no known cure and you just have to learn ways to cope with your new disability. You can be going to the best guy in the entire world and be spending a pretty penny to see them but if the cure is unknown you will remain disabled. If you had a spinal cord injury like the person in this show did it is likely that it would be permanent and uncurable. Instead of making all disabled people seem desperate for a cure why not show disabled people living well with their conditions because not all disabilities need a cure or would want it if it was offered to them. Almost every show I have watched that tries to incorporate a disabled person in their plot has cures somewhere in there and we need to get away from that. Most disabilities have no known cure and it doesn’t matter how smart you are you can’t just create some potion to cure yourself. Disabled people learn to cope with their disabilities because the reality of it is that most disabilities have no cure and researchers are not close to finding it.
Most series I have watched have a scene where someone is disabled or becomes that way because they want to be more inclusive of the disabled community. The problem isn’t only that wheelchair users aren’t pictured often in the public but when we are its poor representation. Filmmakers don’t consult disabled people when casting these parts and everything is all wrong so there is no accuracy to it. I would love to see more disabled people represented in the public, but I don’t want to just anything and I would love to see more movies of disabled people living happily with their disabilities. We don’t need more movies that portray disabled people as angry, depressed or suicidal because we have enough of that, and most people aren’t like that anyway. I want to enjoy movies about disabled characters but a vast majority I cannot because they are not played by disabled people and there is no truth to it. I know these moves are primarily for entertainment, but it wouldn’t kill you to have a little accuracy because you can still educate and entertain at the same time. I will probably still watch Bones because it wasn’t until the end of the series until I started yelling “that will never happen” and wanted to throw a brick at my tv set to make it stop. I was a little disappointed with some of the ending episodes because there were so many things that could have been done differently but I have to say I am not surprised. There needs to be more disability inclusion represented in tv shows but it needs to be good representation because if it’s going to be poor you might as well not do it. Have you seen Bones and what did you think of this plot twist?
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