It is fair to say that the media have largely woken up to the fact that for too long they have not represented society with its rich mix of different people. No matter what the motives are for much more representation of diversity, it has to be a good thing.

We have seen much more (positive) visibility of BAME, disabled, LGBT+ and women on TV, films etc. This is not just limited to talent in front of the camera. Result CIC’s work with BBC North focusing on Hiring Managers need to diversify the workforce and with disabled staff showed how seriously the industry is taking things.

For quite a while there have been discussions as to why highly capable people with excellent acting skills have not been used in the roles where minority groups are being represented. Putting the argument of the ‘big name, box office draw’ element aside, shows are demonstrating how successful they can be by using the authentic people whose stories are being told.

Take for example the recent BBC hit, ‘Pose’. Set in the 80s LGBT+ world of glamorous balls with a backdrop of AIDS and the harsh realities of life as a minority group, it features gay and trans people, played by gay/trans actors. A great programme with such a talented group of authentic actors. How refreshing.

So, it’s with great interest that I read about a mainstream Netflix series called ‘Special’. Written and acted by Ryan O’Connell, a gay man who lives with cerebral palsy.

I only heard about this programme the other day, so have to admit that I haven’t watched it yet. It started earlier this month. With a generally high rating by audiences and some critics, it has been said that it is a good start with some areas of improvement for Series 2. We shall have to see how it all pans out, but I for one feel that I need to catch up with it! Here is a trailer (unfortunately not captioned – you can do better Netflix!) and some more information about the show.


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