• Posted by aimee on September 6, 2023 at 12:36 am

    Hey everyone! I took my daughter to see Wicked tonight. It was my second time seeing it and I remember feeling sad with the disability portrayal when I saw it before. This time I was even more aware and uncomfortable since I had my daughter with me. It is cringey to the point where I’m almost surprised they haven’t changed it because… it’s 2023. The disabled girl is referred to as “tragically beautiful”, etc. We got home late and didn’t have much time to talk about it after the show but I’d like to have a conversation with my daughter about it. Any input or advice for how to approach the subject with her? If you’ve seen the show, how did you feel about it?

    kevin-schaefer replied 8 months ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • deann-r

    Member
    September 6, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Although I haven’t seen it, sounds like it warrants an honest conversation. Mom and I watched The Whale over the weekend. It gave us a lot to talk about. When she was giving me a shower I just said, “You know what bugged me about the movie is…” We didn’t solve any of the worlds problems but it was nice to talk about them. Do you think she knows it bothered you?

  • kevin-schaefer

    Member
    September 6, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Hey Aimee! So Wicked is one of my favorites and I just saw it again as well. And I have thought about Nessa’s character.

    As much as I love the show, it is problematic. On the one hand, the ableism and isolation she deals with is raw. But then she grows up into a lonely and bitter totalitarian figure. It’s not the best disability portrayal.

    If your daughter talks about it, I recommend asking her for her thoughts. It could open doors for a conversation about disability representation.

  • alyssa-silva

    Member
    September 7, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    Hey Aimee. Like Kevin, I loved the show, too. That being said, I saw it many years ago and didn’t know what ableism was yet nor did I see the problems with the character portrayal. Sadly, I think I was so accustomed to the way the media represented disabilities that it didn’t click until years later. I get it now and can see how harmful the show can be.

    Maybe it’s worth asking straight out what your daughter thought about the character having a disability? That way you could segue into a bigger conversation about your feelings and how problematic that narrative is in a gentle manner.

    Let us know how it goes!

  • kevin-schaefer

    Member
    September 19, 2023 at 9:37 am

    This discussion prompted me to write a column about this.

    • aimee

      Member
      September 19, 2023 at 3:53 pm

      Just read the column! You put my thoughts into words perfectly! Interesting point about the movie adaptation, I hadn’t thought about it. Hopefully whoever is making it will be forward-thinking enough to portray Nesta Rose differently!

      • kevin-schaefer

        Member
        September 20, 2023 at 9:43 am

        Thanks so much! And yes, it will be interesting.

  • alyssa-silva

    Member
    September 20, 2023 at 11:24 am

    Wow! Great column @kevin-schaefer! Any idea when the movie is coming out? And who is playing Nessarose?

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