Netflix's 'Special' Promotes Disability Representation on Television
On April 12, 2019, Netflix released an eight-episode ‘special’, ‘Special’, based on comedian, Ryan O’Connell’s, memoir I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. Throughout the series, the audience follows the struggles of a 28-year-old gay man, Ryan, with a mild form of cerebral palsy. While Ryan, who is played by Ryan O’Connell himself, has been openly gay since his teen years, the series shows how he comes to terms with his disability.
The opening of this comedic series also surfaces when television and film disability representation is lacking. The aim of this ‘special’ was to break the barriers of awkwardness and discomfort around disabilities as many are “scared of offending or treating someone [with disabilities] the wrong way [and] choose to ignore [them]” instead. Read more about Netflix’s original series, “Special”, here.