AHS star slams "pathetic" disabled casting on TV

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: Fox

From Digital Spy

American Horror Story star Mat Fraser certainly hasn't held back on his opinion about opportunities for disabled actors on TV.

He is about to become the first disabled actor to play Shakespeare's anti-hero Richard III in a new stage adaptation, but he doesn't reckon we're even close to a disabled actor doing the same on TV.

"In terms of opportunity for disabled people, there are four more people on telly than there were 20 years ago. Excuse me for not having a party," Fraser told BBC News.

"If I didn't have the experience, I wouldn't be asked to be doing damned Richard III, you know? If people didn't think I could act, no-one would let me near the role. But can I get a look-in in any of the BBC dramas? Can I hell."

Photo credit: Fox

Fraser played Paul the Illustrated Seal Boy in American Horror Story's fourth season Freak Show. He was born with underdeveloped arms as a result of his mother being prescribed the morning sickness drug Thalidomide during pregnancy.

Even though he's about to play a bit of a baddie on stage, Fraser believes that disabled people are never cast as a villain due to producers being oversensitive.

"Disabled people are where black people were in the '80s. They can't be baddies. People [in the TV industry] are too politically correct. But they're not ready to give us the hero role yet. So we get no role," he claimed.

It's a point that has been brought up before by The Last Leg's Adam Hills, but Fraser isn't too keen on the chat show himself – even though he's "not having a go" at the presenter.

Photo credit: Channel 4

"BBC are alright. ITV are okay. I mean it's minimal and pathetic, but they have something... something I can hold on to. What have I got on Channel 4? Some damned lad who's on The Last Leg. Woo. Doesn't impress me, mate," he added.

"And as for those panels – I've been doing panels since 1996 about trying to get disabled actors in. I'm just done with panels. Jobs not panels."

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