Micah Fowler, Actor With Cerebral Palsy, Stars in ABC's 'Speechless'
Micah Fowler, who made his acting debut in “Labor Day,” is the new star of ABC’s series “Speechless,” which premiered Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Fowler, who has cerebral palsy, plays JJ, a nonverbal character, who, along with his family, faces the everyday challenges of having additional needs. Minnie Driver (“Good Will Hunting”) plays Fowler’s mother, John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory”) plays his father, and Kyla Kenedy (“The Walking Dead”) and Mason Cook (“Spy Kids”) play his younger siblings.
In an email, Fowler told The Mighty:
I am honored to have the opportunity to play the role of a down-to-earth normal teen living with the challenges of cerebral palsy, and I am thrilled to represent the millions of people living with special needs. In real life, I live every day conquering challenges brought on by cerebral palsy. In addition to the physical challenges, one challenge I have noticed is that sometimes people who have not met me, seem uncomfortable around me. I hope as people watch “Speechless,” they get to know JJ as a very normal person, to the point that the don’t even see the disability. I specifically hope to bring a huge amount of public awareness to cerebral palsy and most importantly, my hope is that the show will make people less uncomfortable around people with disabilities and more encouraged to interact with them, to look beyond the physical or other limitation and see the real person, the heart, the personality, the love and yes, even the humor.
“It’s wonderful to see Hollywood bringing us a story about disabilities — and doing it as a sitcom! Certainly a life of disabilities has challenges, but perhaps the greatest challenge is getting others to see the many moments of normalcy,” Richard Ellenson, CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, told The Mighty in an email. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have read the wonderful pilot script, and it is honest, endearing and fun. And it shows the exasperation a person with disabilities feels when other see difference instead of similarity.”