‘Breaking Bad’ Actor Speaks Out for People with Disabilities
RJ Mitte is an American actor who achieved fame playing the role of Walter White, Jr. in the television series Breaking Bad. Like his character, Mitte has cerebral palsy.
With the disability community calling for increased representation on screen and in Hollywood, Mitte’s career is a success story. The actor has embraced his disability, using it as a vehicle for landing new roles, while encouraging other would-be actors with disabilities to pursue their dream career.
In a 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Mitte said:
It’s hard for any actor to get work – and yes, if you’re a disabled actor, it is harder. Attitudes in Hollywood are changing, but slowly. People still see someone with a disability as a liability. They look at you and think: “You’re going to take twice as long on that shot”. But that’s not the case. People have this misconception about what a disability is. They see it as a weakness, an illness – something that needs to be fixed or cured. But when you have a disability, you have no choice but to take it and utilise it to your advantage, and grow from it.
The actor has also encouraged Hollywood and the media to wake up and offer more opportunities for people with disabilities to become involved in the industry:
We know lots of progress is being made but the industry must do more to help disabled people work both in front of and behind the camera.
Apart from his acting career, Mitte has also taken an active role in charity, working with nonprofits like Scope to support people with disabilities.
Next month, Mitte will be the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual U.S. Conference on disAbility, held at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.