Thursday, August 13, 2015
Why aren't more people with disabilities on America's Got Talent?
My friend Wendy texted last night asking if I'd seen the comedian on America's Got Talent who stutters, Drew Lynch. I gave up on the show a couple of years ago, so I checked him out on YouTube.
Lynch, an aspiring actor, got hit by a baseball bat and sustained damage to his vocal chords that resulted in a permanent stutter. He's a funny guy; here's his recent riff on his service dog:
Lynch is one of seven contestants advancing to the semi-finals, but it's rare to see people with disabilities on these talent shows (or, really, on TV in general). I loved watching Jack Carroll, who has cerebral palsy, on Britain's Got Talent a couple of years ago. He also used his disability in his act because, as he said, "In comedy, a lot of time, your weaknesses are your strengths. It's like the elephant in the room and then when you mention it, they go [exhale] and they can relax and enjoy the rest of the funny jokes."
It's awesome to see them. And it would be equally awesome to see a person with a disability on a talent show who doesn't have to spin his entire act around it to put people at ease. That likely won't happen anytime soon because a whole lot of people are still uncomfortable with people who have disabilities.
Consider PKN, the Finnish punk band. Its members play some bad-ass music...and they just happen to have Down syndrome and autism.
Image of Lynch/NBC
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:37 AM