Lights, Camera, Representation and Direction: How Hollywood, Netflix and other Media Empires Represent Race and Disability
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Throughout history, racialized people, and people with disabilities have been harmed by negative stereotypes, especially through the intersection of ableism and racism, which is still going on today. This Major Research Paper is about the lack of representation and the misrepresentation of People of Colour and people with disabilities. Through the portrayal of various tropes, such as ‘super abilities’ in mass media culture, this paper will discuss how stereotypes hinder racial and disability justice. The research paper analyzes how mass media producers of film and television, like Marvel and Netflix, including international media content such as Bollywood, employ portrayals of negative stereotypes to further marginalize disabled people of various racialized identities. Through the analysis of selected media, this paper explores the way oppressive narratives have evolved toward inclusion and a more disability-positive outlook, for example disabled characters are not only playing the role of victim, or the narrative is not only about the character suffering from a disease. However, the paper argues improvements in narrative to be less racist or ableist are not enough, much more can be done to make media more inclusive, diverse and disability-positive. For example, film and television political organizations such as unions could promote and advocate for the roles of disabled characters to only be played by disabled actors.