Cerrie Burnell: what’s the problem?

In the Shade of the Veil: What’s the problem here?

Last week, there was a huge controversy over the use of a presenter with one hand missing on a children’s TV channel run by the BBC. The objections were found on the BBC’s forum, among the complaints being that she would scare the children and that she was only there for political correctness reasons. To their credit, the BBC has stood its ground on this issue, but the last I heard, they actually have no obligation to do so: discrimination laws, particularly as regards disability, don’t apply to roles such as actors and presenters, and it is very common for able-bodied actors to be cast as disabled characters when there are plenty of disabled actors looking for work. Discrimination laws don’t apply to roles like these, and not that long ago, the BBC would have backtracked very quickly, not that I can remember them using a disabled presenter in my lifetime.

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