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Octavia Spencer asks Hollywood to cast more people with disabilities

Octavia Spencer says in a public service announcement

Octavia Spencer says in a public service announcement that casting able-bodied actors in roles depicting people with disabilities is "offensive, unjust." Credit: Getty Images for BET / Leon Bennett

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is urging Hollywood to cast people with disabilities in roles calling for such.

"Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities," said Spencer, 50, in a public service announcement for the Ruderman Family Foundation, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26.

"[N]othing can replace lived experience and authentic representation," she said. "That's why it's imperative that we cast the appropriate actor for the appropriate role, and that means people with disabilities as well." A host of celebrities, including Academy Award winners George Clooney and Joaquin Phoenix, signed an open letter in December calling on studio, production and network executives to create more opportunities for people with disabilities.

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