Auti Angel. Pic from the Daily Beast.
We’ve talked before about the sadly small number of roles for actors disabilities before. Actress Auti Angel has dealt with this issue firsthand, and she wrote about her experiences in the Daily Beast this weekend. As both a Hispanic woman and a chair user, Auti has had overcome all kinds of barriers to getting roles. As a “double minority” (she uses the term “double threat”), some producers have admitted to denying her roles for essentially bringing too much diversity to the screen:
I have gone to many auditions where I didn’t land the role because I didn’t look disabled enough. “Not disabled enough? What is that supposed to mean?” I would think to myself. I remember one casting in particular where the producers were trying to choose between me and another actor with a disability. In the end, they went with the other actor because I was a double threat, Hispanic and disabled. The producers said they loved me, but they couldn’t use me in the project because I was a double minority and that they were only allowed to represent one minority at a time.
The tide may be turning, though. Auti stars in “Musical Chairs,” a romance film set in New York that takes up issues of disability and ballroom dancing. She touts the project as portraying “diverse situations in a positive light.” We’re looking forward to seeing it, and to seeing more actors like Auti appear on both the large and small screen!