Maysoon Zayid will be the first visibly disabled woman to play a lead role on TV

Caitlin Connelly/The Social
Maysoon Zayid is a standup comedian, writer and actress whose TED Talk has garnered over 48-million views around the world.
 



Soon, she’ll become the first visibly disabled woman to play a leading role on American television. 

Let’s talk about representation in the United States, for a second. Twenty per cent of Americans live with a disability, but only two per cent of characters on American TV are visibly disabled. Of that two per cent, 95 per cent are played by non-disabled actors. 

This needs to change, Maysoon told our hosts in a recent interview. 

“The first thing that needs to change is that stars need to turn down roles if they’re not disable,” she said. “I think it’s offensive and cartoonish and, much like race, disability cannot be played.”

“If a wheelchair user can’t play Beyoncé then Beyoncé can’t play a wheelchair user.”

Watch the video clip above for the entire interview. 

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