The upcoming film “Blind,” starring Alec Baldwin as a novelist who loses his sight in a car crash, has drawn criticism for casting an able-bodied actor as the blind lead.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading organization advocating for disability rights, spoke out against the film, accusing it of “crip-face” — a comparison to blackface — in having Baldwin portray the main role. The private philanthropic group is known for advocating on behalf of casting disabled actors.
“Alec Baldwin in ‘Blind’ is just the latest example of treating disability as a costume,” Jay Ruderman, the foundation’s president, said in a statement to the L.A. Times. “We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters. Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
Last summer, the foundation released findings that reveal although those with disabilities represent almost 20% of the country’s population, 95% of disabled characters on television are played by able-bodied performers. The Ruderman Family also criticized the 2016 romantic drama “Me Before You” for casting Sam Claflin as a young banker who was left paralyzed from an accident.
The trailer for “Blind” was released Wednesday, and co-stars Demi Moore as a married socialite who cares for Baldwin’s character as part of a plea bargain. The two develop a love affair, leaving Moore’s character to choose between Baldwin’s and her husband.
The film, directed by Michael Mailer, premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival on Oct. 13. It is scheduled to release worldwide on July 14 by Vertical Entertainment.