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BBC drama depicting disabled people as benefit scroungers
Earlier this week I posted about a series called 'CripTales' appearing on BBC 4.This collection of spoken monologues starred an array of disabled actors, with each programme honing in on a subject of importance to the disabled community.
Despite the expectation that this was a positive move that could only improve awareness of disability issues, the airing of Liz Carr's 'Real Deal' monologue was met with widespread unease as it appeared to depict PIP claimants as fraudulent in motive.
What was the episode about?The BBC website gives us this overview of the episode:
A dark and witty tale about a woman caught in the benefits system.
In-particular, disabled groups have contested the plot twist that sees Liz's character, Meg, convinced to exaggerate her impairment symptoms to be eligible for a higher rate PIP. For instance, Meg purposefully doesn't sleep the night before to look more fatigued in-front of assessors.
How have people reacted?The episode was widely condemned by disabled people, campaigners and allies alike as it reproduced the harmful narrative that disabled groups are disingenuous, fakers and undeserving of financial help; an inaccurate understanding that risks undoing many years of work to progress equality.
One disabled activist, Andy Mitchell told the Disability News Service:
How have the shows producers reacted?Speaking to the Disability News Service, the show's producers defended the episode and explained:
What did you think?
- Did you manage to see the programme in question?
- What was your perception of it?
- Do you think the public outcry is warranted or did you find it a comedy take on the PIP process?
Let me know in the comments below.
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