New Show ‘Speechless’ Shines Light on Disabilities
Posted by ROLAND REZNIK on October 27, 2016. 0 Comments
The new television show Speechless is demystifying the special needs community. The creator of the ABC family comedy, Scott Silveri, based the humorous and informative series on his life growing up with a brother who has special needs. Silveri insisted on hiring disabled actor Micah Fowler, who has cerebral palsy in real life.
Silveri always knew he would employ a disabled actor for the main character of the series. Growing up, Silveri witnessed and experienced difficult situations related to disabilities. He was prepared to fight hard with the network and studio to make sure his demands for a disabled actor were met. Surprisingly he never had to fight. Silveri stated, “God bless the studio and the network for not questioning that.”
Speechless aired its first episode September 21, 2016, to rave reviews. Critics are commending Micah Fowler’s work. Silveri is quick to draw attention to Fowler’s brilliant acting ability as well as the authenticity he brings to the show. The combination of Fowler’s real life disability and Silveri’s experience growing up with a disabled brother allows the show to exhibit real life situations and emotions.
Silveri is hoping the show will provide insight into the disabled community and help society feel comfortable around disabled people. Disabled people experience many obstacles on a daily basis. Physical obstacles and accessibility in public areas are the most common. The Americans with Disabilities Act has forced improvements and accessibility throughout the United States.
Obstacles in society such as weird looks, unusual conversations and rudeness are things the ADA does not cover. Silveri will be happy if the show rids the mystery of the disabled community. He knows the disabled community experiences discomfort, ignoring and everything in between on a daily basis. He feels if this show is in people’s homes once per week it will help create familiarity. This will help society learn how to interact with the disabled community in a positive way.
The disabled community has been hoping to have more exposure on television for many years. Advocates are consistently fighting and pushing for more exposure in society. The fact that a disabled based comedy sitcom is welcomed into millions of homes every week is a huge milestone.
Advocates are also impressed with the time slot after the Goldbergs. This popular time slot shows the disabled community and society that the network stands behind the show. It also shows society they are serious about the show reaching millions.
Silveri has experience as the executive producer of the popular hit television show Friends. The long-running series is a sign that Silveri knows what it takes to create a hit show. This gives the disabled community and advocates hope that Speechless will be a hit as well.
The family show is not an issue-based series. It’s a comedy that the entire family can enjoy together. The cast includes Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Cedric Yarbrough, Mason Cook, Kyla Kenedy and Micah Fowler. Minnie Driver plays a protective wife and mother of three children. Audiences have found themselves laughing out loud throughout the show and looking forward to the next episode.
Speechless airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c.