Tony Winner Ali Stroker Reframes Disability Representation and Identity
July 22, 2021
In this episode, we continue our celebration of Disability Pride Month with a conversation about representation.
Across the top 100 movies of 2019 only 2.3% of all speaking characters had a disability. What’s more, the rare times we do see a character with a disability, they aren’t played by someone with a disability. In fact, one study found that in the top 10 TV shows for 2018 only 12% of disabled characters were played by disabled actors. In contrast, around 133 million Americans live with visible or invisible disabilities — that’s 40% of the public.
To put it plainly, there’s A LOT of room for improvement. Enter Ali Stroker, a singer and actress phenom who became both the first person using a wheelchair to perform on Broadway and the first person using a wheelchair to win a Tony award. Ali, in many ways, has put disability on the media map, landing roles in film, television, theater and even writing a children’s book. She joins us on At Liberty to discuss the importance of the representation and celebration of disability in the entertainment industry and beyond.