Under Representation of Disability

By: Sarah Boyce

Like Bradley, my favorite part about this week’s lesson was the “Disability and Sitcom” section. I had never really thought about the lack of representation of disabilities, both visibly apparent and mentally, in situation comedies. I am a member of Best Buddies at Wake Forest so mental disability is something close to my heart. After completing this section, I was shocked at everything I had learned. What I remember particularly was my realization when Jim Schultz explained how there are so many books and articles about race, sex, gender, and sexuality relating to situation comedies, however, hardly any articles regarding disabilities in television. It occurred to me that throughout all these lessons I never really thought about disabled people not being included. Race and sexuality is something always discussed and people argued for years about their under representation. Disability, however, is not something I have ever read or heard about for situation comedies.

I really enjoyed the episode of Legit and how it expressed the day to day interactions and complications of someone who is disabled. I thought it was important to focus on such a serious and depressing topic while incorporating a comical outlook on it. I am sad that this show was cancelled because the way this show could fix the problem of under representation of disabled people while also educating an audience. I hope that producers continue or improve on incorporating disabilities into situation comedies


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2 Responses to Under Representation of Disability

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I totally agree! Disabled people are very underrepresented in sitcoms. Legit did a great job of including disabled people in the show but I think it needed to represent Billy as a more inclusive member in society. Regardless, it was important for the show to represent disabled people and I agree that more sitcoms need to do so!
    -Sarah Teegarden

  2. marymdalton says:

    Excellent post! Even with your awareness, you still didn’t notice the invisibility of disabled characters/people on television. That is very telling.

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