‘See’: How Do Blind Actors Feel About Working on the Apple TV Plus Show?
The new Apple TV+ series See hits pretty close to home these days when it comes to the subject matter. The premise of the show is that a virus has wiped out all but two million humans and those that are left are blind. Jason Momoa plays one of the lead roles and he is, indeed, playing a blind character.
Make no mistake, this show has a ton of action. The characters fight and battle just as fiercely as the characters from such shows as Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead.
More about the show
Disabled characters in shows or movies rarely get represented fairly, if they even get representation at all. On the off chance that a character with a disability is focused on, that character is fraught with stereotypes, or the disability is skated over altogether.
This show certainly doesn’t take the easy road that shows in the past may have taken. Many scenes have intense fighting even though many performers on the show are genuinely blind or have low vision.
In fact, the very idea of the show is that blindness is just the way of life for everyone. It’s not as if the characters are trying to get around in a world built for the sighted. The entire world that they navigate in is specifically designed around the fact that everyone is blind.
Many of the cast are visually impaired
See has something more than just being one of Apple TV+’s first shows. It’s also one of the first shows on any network to include a large cast of people who are blind or have limited vision. See’s stars, Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, are not blind. However, many other members of the cast and crew are.
With inclusivity recently at the forefront with many movements that address gender and racial diversity, equality for physical disability is equally important. So to see a show that not only addresses a disability but uses it to showcase the adaptability of the disability is truly unique and remarkable.
According to Fanbyte, the cast and crew were committed to making every accommodation needed for all the actors on the show. Many of the performers were impressed with the fact that they were able to have input on the script and the film crew welcomed any criticism from the performers about anything they thought could be insensitive or if something just didn’t make sense logically from a visually impaired perspective.
The show has a blindness consultant
The task of making sure people with visual impairments are portrayed authentically fell to blindness consultant Joe Strechay according to CNET. The show has a lot of action and fight scenes, so Joe works with the stunt coordinators to ensure that they are done the way that a blind person would fight.
For example, Joe had the characters use a technique in one scene that he and his wife use when they are in public. In a scene where it’s necessary to communicate without making noise on a raft, the characters squeeze the arm of the person next to them and trace out a message that then gets passed to each person in turn silently.
This technique is exactly the way that Joe and his wife communicate in public without speaking. One squeeze on the arm is just checking in. Two squeezes mean that there may be a danger, so stay alert. Three squeezes mean imminent danger and that they need to leave quickly.
See is a definite departure from the norm. This unique and refreshing take on a disability shows strong and fierce characters, not despite their disabilities, but because of them. Let’s hope this is the first of many shows that cast a spotlight on various disabilities and portray them in a positive light.