Normally I’d write about music related stuff of what I’ve got going on. Rarely do I get bent out of shape about a TV shows cancellation as there aren’t many shows I can’t go without. But the news today of the comedy Legit; staring Jim Jefferies, Dan Bakkedahl, and DJ Qualls; getting cancelled really got under my skin.
First is this was a total screw up by the network. Last year the series debuted on FX and had ratings so high that it was renewed for season two before the midway point of season 1. However the network decided that for season 2 it would air the show on its new channel FXX. A channel that was not and still is not carried by most cable and satellite companies. Following the shows twitter feed as well as it’s stars I saw a ton of replies saying “keep telling your subscriber to add FXX”. So essentially the high ups at FX Networks dropped the ball here and killed a great new show too soon by putting on a network nobody could watch.
The second reason it irks me is that Legit was and is the only TV show that had a disabled character that wasn’t treated as a sympathy character. And while yes I’m against non disabled actors playing disabled on TV and movies I can say DJ Qualls portrayal of an individual with Muscular Dystrophy was on point. I know! I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a neurological disorder under the category of Muscular Dystrophy. The character of Billy wasn’t there for sympathy or pity. Billy, like myself, is a PERSON who happens to be disabled and likes to live life and party like everyone else. I laughed myself silly at a recent episode where Billy drove himself home in his wheelchair drunk because “the sidewalk is too bumpy”. And as someone whose driven his wheelchair drunk I can say sidewalks do suck drunk (and sometimes sober).
Legit gave disabled a closer to reality representative on TV. Shame on FX Networks for putting it on a fledgling network resulting in its cancellation. And shame on FX Networks for not having the balls to stick with a show that gave disabled a better representation than “aww, poor cripple.” I just hope future TV and movie producers and writers can learn from Legit and give disabled characters proper representation in the media AND open the door to disabled being hired to play disabled roles instead of non disabled actors pretending to be disabled.