RJ Mitte Calls Out Assumption People Often Make About Disabilities


RJ Mitte In a recent interview with Metro news, “Breaking Bad” actor RJ Mitte called out an assumption people make about disabilities.

Mitte, who has cerebral palsy, is playing a man with muscular dystrophy in the upcoming film “Who’s Driving Doug,” and he has some thoughts about that:

“I don’t know anything about muscular dystrophy,” Mitte told Metro. “I play a character with a disability; it just happens to not be my disability. No one ever thinks about it like that. They assume all disabilities are the same. They think they all go through the same things. They don’t. [Each disability] is unique in their own way. That’s something we have to evolve from.”

“Who’s Driving Doug” follows Doug (Mitte), who hires a driver (Ray William Johnson) to take him on a road trip to escape living with his “oppressively loving mother” (Daphne Zuniga). The film premiered on Feb. 6 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Since his “Breaking Bad” success, Mitte has made headlines advocating for opportunities in Hollywood for people with disabilities. He’s notably been a part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival, an annual series of film screenings, discussions, storytelling sessions and other programs dedicated to highlighting the stories of people with disabilities. In October, he spoke with Oyster magazine about how his “Breaking Bad” role furthered the disability discussion.

It was able to educate [people] in the way of looking past the physical and seeing someone for who they are. When you first watch Breaking Bad, you see Walt Junior, and you see the crutches… but after you’ve watched the show for a while, the crutches start to fade away. You no longer see a disabled kid, you see a kid who’s just trying to grow and learn.

Related: A Request for RJ Mitte, From a Woman With Cerebral Palsy


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Cerebral Palsy

Boy With Cerebral Palsy Launches Triathlon for Kids With Disabilities

In July 2015 Bailey Matthews competed in the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire, England, and the video of him crossing the finish line went viral. Just feet before completing the race, Matthews ditched his walking frame, and though he fell twice, he got back up and finished the race unassisted. Matthews, 9, told BBC [...]

When I Wonder, How Much Therapy Is Too Much Therapy for My Daughter?

I’m by no means a expert at this life. Special needs parenting is still new to me. The day we heard the diagnosis can at times feel like yesterday. When my daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, I threw myself into full gear. New words like “brain plasticity” were thrown into my vocabulary. Doctors advised me to get [...]

Dear Future Boyfriend, From Your Girlfriend With Cerebral Palsy

If you’re reading this, it probably means I am starting to think about a more permanent relationship with you. I’m excited. I’m sure you are, too — but I need you to understand that a relationship with me will be a little more complicated (I have cerebral palsy). Here’s a list of things you should know [...]

To the Shoppers Who Think My Son Is 'Too Old' to Ride in the Cart

I see you there. The look of judgment on your face tells me everything. Many people have given me this look before. The “why can’t/won’t you control your child” look. Trust me, I am used to it. I can’t begin to tell you all the times someone has come up to me in public and commented on my [...]