Blind Character in New TV Show

by Rebecca White on February 18, 2014

Cartoon image of a television setNext week, a new show premieres on NBC called “Growing Up Fisher”.  They’ve been promoting it pretty heavily during the commercial breaks of the Olympics, of which I have been absolutely glued (in my next life I’m coming back as an ice skater, I just know it).  The premise of the show really caught my interest – the story chronicles Henry, an 11-year old boy, whose father Hal, is blind and about to get a guide dog.  The show is based on the true story of executive producer DJ Nash.

Wondering if any of you have seen the promos and had any reaction to the show.  I found myself scratching my head with some of the clips – one of which in particular was a little odd.  Henry’s dad attempts to use a chainsaw to cut down a tree by himself; arguably not a safe endeavor for anyone who isn’t trained!  In any case, he’s wearing safety goggles and his sister comments to Henry, “why is he wearing safety glasses??” As if being blind means you have no reason to protect your eyes because you can’t see.  I’ve also seen several different clips of Hal driving a car, much to the shock and dismay of his friends and family.

Of course in another video, the actor voicing adult-Henry reflects back on his childhood and says, “my dad was blind, but he never let the fact that he couldn’t see keep him from doing anything.”  There are also segments where Henry verbally explains the Olympic snowboarding tricks he’s watching as well as a curling match, which are quite cute and endearing.

What are your thoughts on this upcoming show?  Are you offended in any way of the portrayal of Hal?  Or is it just nice to see a blind character in a mainstream television show?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

  • Chris

    A comedian once said “IF I couldn’t laugh at myself, I’d be missin’ out on a lot of great material.” I am legally blind, and have made that my motto as well. I can’t wait for the show to premiere. I only hope it’s as good as the trailers. I’m sure my daughter could, and would, tell some doozies on me if given half a chance. So bring it on NBC. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Derek Bove

    Great response Chris! I think this is true for all of us, if you can’t make fun of yourself, then maybe you’re living your life a bit too seriously.

    -Derek

  • Erich M

    Most of my uneasiness with this sort of show is that Hollywood portrayals of blindness or blind people are usually created by writers who have very little familiarity with blindness. You can bet a medical or crime drama is chock-full of consultants to help ensure authenticity, but there does not seem to be the same concern around portrayals of disability. For that matter, couldn’t the part of “Hal” have been filled with an actual blind actor? Why would they not? Just the same, as with stand-up comedians, I really don’t ever feel the urge to protest any of this stuff. It’s important to be able to laugh at ourselves, for coping. And even the disrespectful humor doesn’t harm me, it only exposes the author.

  • PRESCRIPT2003

    NBC, BRING IT ON!!! WE NEED A CIT COM WITH A DISABLED PERSON IN IT. EVEN THOUGH SOME OF THE ACTORS MAY NOT BE REAL, BUT, IT STILL PORTRAYS BLINDNESS. WE ALL NEED TO LAUGH AT OUR SELVES. PERHAPS, AI SQUARED, ENVISION AMERICA AND ALL OTHER ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES SHOULD BE DOING SOME COMMERCIALS DURING THE CIT COM. ESPECIALLY, EN-VISION AMERICA WITH SCRIPTALK, SCRIPABILITY AND SCRIPTVIEW. THIS WOULD BE THE PERFECT TIME TO GET ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY OUT INTO THE MAINSTREAM AND ALSO THE PERFECT TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ABLE TO READ MEDICATION BOTTLES AND PRESCRIPTIONS IN AN ACCESSIBLE, SAFE AND INDEPENDENT MANNER. AND IF YOU ARE NOT FOR THAT, THEN MAYBE YOU NEED TO GO BACK TO REHABILITATION FOR SOME MORE TRAINING AND SOME SERIOUS OBEDIENCE TRAINING SUCH AS HOW TO FOLLOW A DRESS CODE.

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