Emmerdale actor James Moore has called out the upcoming US TV drama In The Dark for not casting a disabled actor in the show’s lead role, that of a blind woman who is the only witness to a murder.

The soap star, who both lives with and plays a character with cerebral palsy on the long-running ITV show tweeted in disappointment yesterday regarding the producers of In The Dark’s decision to cast non-disabled Perry Mattfield in the role of a blind woman.

Moore wrote: “Yet another show casting a non-disabled actor in a disabled role. At the end of the day- the product will suffer. The best actor to play a disabled part will always be disabled themselves. The difference is in life experience. No matter the character.”

His tweet included a link to an article in the Wrap, which explains that during a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour, one of the show’s executive producers Nicky Weinstock was asked if a blind woman was ever considered for the role.

He said: “We went about searching for a blind actor immediately, and looked all over.

“We saw many, many auditions, and ultimately we went with Perry because she was the best actor for the role in a really exciting way.”

Weinstock added that they went to 29 organisations for blind people in an attempt to find a blind actor, and that Mattfield “went to the props department and got a cane on her first day of pre-production and went around her apartment for weeks doing cane work,” assisted by Lorri Bernson, a consultant for the show who herself is blind.

Perry Mattfield will add her name to a long list of actors who have been called out by disabled activists for cripping up, including Bryan Cranston, who recently played a paraplegic man in the movie The Upside, and Colin Farrell, who has his arm green-screened out in the upcoming remake of Dumbo.

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Source: Twitter/The Wrap
Image: Trailer – In the Dark – The CW

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