Christina Bishop

Inspiration Porn Stars, Sia’s Not the Only One…

A few weeks ago I commented in absolute rage and in agreement with Illuminnaugtii’s YouTube video about Sia Tweeting to real actresses on the spectrum saying that they are just bad actors and telling them to go see her film Music

Latter Good Morning America picked up this story when traditionally news programs and even the monster that is Hollywood is home to the Kings and Queens of inspiration porn; with news stories about an Autistic woman playing piano and singing for young kids after school, a young man cerebral palsy with playing trumpet in a marching band, and many more that not sicken me but other disabled and impaired communities. In my comment, I said she was not the only one to receive the Golden Sheldon in Boxers but many others who think it’s ok to exploit, humiliate, and abuse disabled and impaired people not as inspiration but as a cash grab for an Oscar. It’s not only a problem in Hollywood but in schools where Flowers for Algernon is required reading when we do not acknowledge the mental issues of famous composers, musicians, artist, and even a president who ended up in the bloodiest time in American history and came out inspiring people despite his depression. His name was Abraham Lincon and his work the Gettysburg Address is still inspiring and tells us what we still have to fight for.

Inspiration Porn is no different than a white person putting on blackface or yellowface, an English woman playing an Austrian woman which many German-Americans have a problem with, or a white man voicing a middle-class Indian character. One aspect of sociology is bias study, and Hollywood and the News Media have this implicit bias when it comes to casting or hiring Nero-diverse actors, actresses, and writers like myself. This implicit bias to discriminate against disabled and impaired people not only comes from books and tropes like Flowers for Algeron and Rainman but institutionally because of cults like Scientology and groups like Autism Speaks.

Instead of going to psychology, sociology, and actual people on the spectrum they rely heavily on mostly parental and peer stories either in the vain of being kind ( Rainman, Glee) or making fun of them for laughs ( Big Bang Theory, Atypical). There are plenty of Aspberger’s men who are comedic actors that could pull off someone like Sheldon and be relatable to autistic men who struggle to find sexual and social belonging and well being without stereotypes such as unemotionality and bad social reading.

To someone like myself, Rainman would have been more relatable if Dan Achroid had a chance to play a serious character like the man Rainman is based on and his struggles with trying to understand people and normalcy. Like myself, he is full of amazing knowledge and ideas on things no one thought of before. However, instead of hiring a former Parapsychologist, they hired a Scientologist named Tom Cruise. I tried looking up voice-actors with echolalia, which is something useful to have like one but ended up with 10 Inspiring People with Autism. However, here is a better inspiring story about a young man famous for repeating things, his name is Mel Blanc…

On a dreadful drive through Dead Mans Curve, he was driving through traffic until…CRASH! He ended up in a huge collision in a coma, but none of the nurses knew how to get him to speak. Even saying his name was giving them a hard time until a brave neurologist did something the nurses or doctors never thought of, “Hello is Bugs Bunny their?”

“Yeh Doc, this is Bugs…”

She then began talking about the other character he voiced and the nurses and doctors were surprised over all the characters he did and that a secretary brought his speech back. Normally this is a kind of therapy done today to get people with Autism to talk about their issues or emotions but in Mel Blanc’s time Autism, research and therapy were in their infancy. In my opinion, she or he should have won a Nobel in psychology and for saving his life!

Echolalia people not only repeat or imitate voices but can also create new ones based on their environment; also in Autistic people, they can use the voice of a character they know or create to deal and talk themselves out of hard issues verbally or mentally. One story on Radio Lab also talked about a boy with Autism who was dealing with bullying by having a conversation with Phill from Hercules. Hearing his conversation was his older brother who is neurotypical and because of his little brother’s echolalia became proactive in defending him. That is why it’s better to listen to actual people who are disabled and impaired rather than just testimony, a movie, or a book.

Originally published at https://www.reddit.com.

Tuba player, creator of Struwwelkinder and The Flying Circus Orchestra