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People react to the disability episode of Queer Eye: Did they get it right?

People react to the disability episode of Queer Eye: Did they get it right?

Bobby Berk and Wesley in the new Queer Eye | Photo: Netflix

Some disabled viewers have questioned the disability episode of Queer Eye.

Many have questioned whether the Netflix show got it right in its depiction of one of its heroes in season four.

The Fab Five met Wesley, a man who was shot and was paralyzed from the waist down.

He runs Disabled But Not Really, a foundation aiming to help people living with disabilities keep fit.

The title of the episode was the name of his foundation. Some online immediately said the episode title was inappropriate and an example of ‘internalized ableism’.

Did Queer Eye get the disability episode of season 4 right? 

Internalized ableism suggests Wesley might feel ashamed by the word ‘disabled’.

Many also say the editing of the show, which may have painted Wesley as ‘inspiration porn’, was inappropriate.

Rachel Charlton-Daily, a bi disabled woman, said Wesley’s internalized ableism was validated to fit an ‘inspiration porn narrative’.

Dan Freeman, a bisexual writer, also critiqued the episode.

Episode ‘screamed performative allyship’ for disability

‘This episode screamed performative allyship,’ he said.

‘There were so many opportunities to explore disability but they never did.

‘Conversely, Wesley’s talk about dis was steeped in internalized ableism and I don’t see how that serves dis rep in media well.’

But others, especially disabled people of color, also celebrated the episode.

Vilissa Thompson said: ‘Some of you all are performative in regards to this episode.

‘I’m literally sitting here wondering if I’m watching the same episode as you all did that generated such a reaction.

Hero of the episode: ‘I am more proud of this episode than I ever could have imagined’ 

‘This is why I review things for myself & don’t trust non-Black POVs on Black disabled folks’ lives.’

She also said: ‘There are ways to be critical without swerving outside of your lane. Some of you all swerved right into a ditch.’

And also said: ‘There are things I saw that if Wesley broadens his community reach, that could reshape his POV. We ALL had to learn – stop acting like you didn’t have to. Ridiculous.’

Wesley posted on his Instagram, celebrating the episode.

He said: ‘I’ve been feeling overwhelmed because I believe that this moment is truly going to be something huge for my life and the world. My life has changed since being on the show, and now the world gets to witness that.

‘My Queer Eye episode spoke my truth. They did such a great job keeping the moments that made the most impact–showing all the emotions, the tension, and then the uplifting.

‘I am more proud of this episode than I ever could have imagined. I can’t wait to see what positivity and influence it creates.’

See also

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Karamo Brown reveals which Queer Eye cast member he hated in the first season

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