A report from the University of Southern California has revealed that across the 100 most popular movies of 2017, only 2.5% of characters on screen had a disability.

The report highlights the disproportionate nature of the representation of disabled women in film, with 78 of the 100 movies not including a single woman with a disability – however they also pointed out that the number of disabled women represented in film had significantly increased by 2015.

Only 14 movies featured a lead or co-lead with a disability at any point in the film, and only one film focused on an underrepresented disabled character, while another one focused on an LGBT disabled person.

Physical disabilities were depicted most frequently in these films, with 61.6% of disabled characters fitting into this category. 30.4% of disabled characters had what was characterised as a communicative disability, while 26.8% had mental difficulties.

The number of white disabled people men was largely disproportionate to disabled women or BAME people shown on screen. 69.9% were white disabled males, while 30.4% were female. Almost three quarters of disabled people shown on screen were white, while 27% were underrepresented people.


Image: Matteo Magro/Flickr


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