Give Us a Break! 100 People with Disabilities Speak
Best Infotainment Program
Barrierfree Variety Show started five years ago in response to comments received from disabled viewers saying that television programing failed to disseminate true understanding of their lives because they were habitually portrayed as smiling, brave heroes who struggle hard to overcome adversity. This episode explores the theme of “inspiration porn” against the backdrop of a commercial broadcaster’s live, 24-hour charity marathon. The high-rating marathon program presents a popular segment that one-sidedly depicts disabled people as inspiring exemplars. Serving as a counterweight, this episode of Barrierfree Variety Show was originally aired live during the marathon’s climax and featured a cast of disabled regulars engaged in a lively discussion concerning inspiration porn. Tweets and emails were also solicited from both disabled and non-disabled viewers who shared their views about how the disabled are portrayed in broadcast media.