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There Is More To Equality Than Man Versus Woman And Black Versus White (Or - Why I Think Lenny Henry Could Learn From Idris Elba)
I have blogged before now saying that I thought Lenny Henry was concentrating on a small fraction of the "Equality" argument.  I have also blogged before now saying how upset I feel at the fact that I can switch on my televisin and watch programmes with a high proportion of people from ethnic minorities compared to the proportion of disabled people.

This issue was brought back into the front of my mind as a result of the furore about the lack of black people who have been nominated for Oscars (or Academy Awards).

Apparently, black people have taken offence - not only to this but also to comments made about the lack of nominations (Michael Caine made a very good point when he said that maybe the actors, directors, etc, were simply not as good as the white ones) and the "boycott" of the Oscars by black people - some actress who I had never previously heard of accussed the actors taking part in the boycott of "racism against white people".

I was beginning to despair of anybody recognising the major double standards highlighted by the arguments - until I read an article about what the British actor Idris Elba said in the House of Commons.

Equality in acting, etc, should not just be about black versus white, or even men versus women.  Equality should also include disabled people.

I belong to what must be the largest minority when it comes to being represented in any "mainstream" area of life - merely as a result of being the "invisibly" disabled (I use the word "invisibly" because the extent of my disability is not usually immediately apparent).

When you mix people like me in with those who the media have actually attempted to integrate into the Mainstream media (the blind, and the wheelchair users) as well as the deaf people who use sign language (who used to get a weekly programme called "See Hear" presented by people like them) we make up a rather large pool of untapped resources.

If you ask me - the people who are boycotting the Oscars because of the supposed "whitewash" of nominations should count themselves very lucky.  They appeat to have forgotten that there have been times when the Oscar nominations have had some very good black actors, directors, etc.

Apart from which - gone are the days of programmes like "The Black & White Minstrel Show" where white people "blacked up".

I really wish we could reach a point where parts calling for people with disabilities were played by actors with those disabilities.  The film that readily springs to mind is the biopic of Stephen Hawkins.

Although I have never seen "Rain Man" I have read about the impact it had on the public perception of Autism.

Just think what could happen if we had realistic storylines about physical disabilities in films and soaps.  It would be even better if the relevant parts could be played by people with those disabilities.

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