Actors with disabilities are often passed over for lead roles, even when the character actually has a disability, according to this Code Switch blog from NPR.
Frustrated actors and other players in the industry complain this is a major Catch-22, keeping them out of jobs and, as a result, keeping an honest portrayal of people with disabilities from audiences. Take, for example, the new remake of “Ironside” which premiered this week on NBC. In both the 1960s version starring Raymond Burr and the modern version with Blair Underwood, the lead is a paraplegic detective. Also in both versions, neither Burr nor Underwood were/are disabled. Read more.