A disability charity slammed the BBC’s decision to cast “Strange Things” star Charlie Heaton in a remake of “The Elephant Man”.
A good goal for people with disabilities criticized the BBC for the casting of “Strange Things” star Charlie Heaton to play the main role in a remake of “The Elephant Man”.
Heaton, 24, was scheduled to play the main character Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man called the Elephant Man”. The film was scheduled to premiere next year, Sky News reported.
Scope, which describes itself as a “disability equality is love” on its website, criticized the BBC’s decision to not cast a disabled actor plays the title role. Phil Talbot, the charity’s head of communications, called it a “missed opportunity.”
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“It is disappointing that a disabled actor has not released in the remake of ‘The Elephant Man’, as it is one of the most recognizable films to portray a handicap character,” Talbot said in a statement.
“This is a missed opportunity, but unfortunately, a lack of diversity in the industry is nothing new. Disabled actors are still often faced with enormous obstacles to break into the business. Not only are the roles few and far between, but the castings and the locations are often not accessible. There is a huge pool of disabled talent to be overlooked.”
A spokesman for the BBC responded by saying that they were currently in the process of searching for casting disabled actors for the various roles.”
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“‘The Elephant Man’ is an iconic drama that has an important role to play in highlighting the changing attitudes of a disability and we are currently in the process of the casting of disabled actors in a number of the most important roles,” the statement read.
Actors who have portrayed Merrick in the past included John Hurt, Bradley Cooper, and Mark Hamill.
The controversy comes after Scarlett Johansson dropped out of the film “Rub & Tug” after she was criticized for taking a transgender role.
Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her via @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.