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Gloucester-based movie wins three Oscars, including Best Picture

CODA — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

In addition to best picture, CODA's Troy Kotsur won for best actor in a supporting role and the move won for adapted screenplay.



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I saw CODA several months ago and the Oscars are richly deserved. Troy Kotsur is only the second Deaf actor to win an Oscar (the first being his co-star Marlee Matlin), and it is notable that all the Deaf roles were played by Deaf actors - we need more movies and TV to cast disabled actors to play characters with disabilities.

I listened to the Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor acceptance speeches and love that they both referenced the Gloucester fishing community. The story wasn't just set in Gloucester, but also was centered on a fishing family.

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we need more movies and TV to cast disabled actors to play characters with disabilities.

Casting disabled actors to play characters without disabilities is the challenge that needs unlocking.

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There are too many barriers to disabled actors. Casting them for disabled characters and those who aren't specified as disabled are both important. The disability community (of which I am part), while concerned with both, is especially concerned with having characters with disabilities played by people with disabilities because not doing so leads to misrepresentation - characters in wheelchairs not handling them properly, characters who are blind not using canes or guide dogs properly, etc. often in ways that are demeaning.

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I've been hearing a lot of autistic adults saying things like "people want to say I'm not autistic based their impressions of autistic people that come from non-autistic actors portraying characters written by non-autistic writers directed by non-autistic directors."

Also the whole systemic -ism issue; why on earth would we pay a nondisabled actor to pretend to be a disabled person when there are disabled actors we could employ?

But yes, it would be great to see just more overall diversity in media. When we ask a disabled actor to play a nondisabled character (particularly a historical figure rather than a fictional character), in some ways that means we're telling them to leave aside parts of them that make them who they are, and that can be problematic. It would be great though to see a lot more disabled actors playing fcharacters where disability isn't written in or necessarily referenced in the plot, but where there's no reason a character can't be a chair user or have hearing aids, an insulin pump, a service dog, etc.

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When there's a part for a receptionist, there's no reason the actor can't be in a wheelchair or use crutches. If there's a scene of a track meet, there's no reason a runner can't be someone wearing hearing aids.

One very real barrier is that the places where auditions are held often aren't ADA accessible. The actor in a wheelchair who wants to audition for the receptionist role can't do so if the audition's held on the 2nd floor of a building with no elevator (a frequent situation).

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And the director grew up in Cambridge too.

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Was the former film office coordinator for the City of Boston.

He has now been in an Best Picture Winner and Black Dynamite.

I'd die happy if that was my resume.

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Sian Heder, the winning screenwriter and director of CODA, is the daughter of Mags Harries, the artist who has created tons of public art including the bronze gloves on the escalators at the Porter Square T station.

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