New Comedy 'Jeremy the Dud' Shows People With Disabilities as the Majority
A new short film lets people see the discrimination those with disabilities regularly face, and while the film itself might make you laugh, its message should be taken seriously.
“Jeremy The Dud” tells the story of Jeremy, a young man living in a world run by people with disabilities. Jeremy is “without specialty,” meaning he doesn’t have a disability. In a world where living with a disability is the norm, Jeremy is considered a “dud.”
“Jeremy the Dud,” an Australian short film produced in part by Robot Army, was released earlier this November. In an effort to show the prejudice and discrimination people with disabilities regularly face, the short film focuses on a person without a disability as the “different” character in an alternate world.
Jeremy wears a tag around his neck that reads “without specialty,” so those around him know he is “not special.” Because of this tag, Jeremy is typically treated in a condescending manner, enduring baby talk from people and only having access to menial jobs such as “wheelchair pusher.”
“People have a warped view on what disabilities are, even if they think they’re doing us a favor,” Chloe Hayden, an actress on the autism spectrum who plays Heidi in the film, told The Mighty.
According to Disability Statistics from Cornell University, an estimated 35 percent of people with a disability between the ages of 21 and 64 are employed. In contrast, 78 percent of Americans without a disability were employed in 2015.
“Stigmas, labels and conceptions do us no favors whatsoever,” Hayden said. “You can’t judge a whole group of individuals based on what you’ve read about us or what you think you know about us. We’re people. We’re all different, and stigmatizing and telling us what we can and can’t do is ridiculous.”
Ryan Chamley, the film’s writer and director, doesn’t have a disability, according to The Guardian. But he did consult with the cast, almost all of whom — with the exception of the two “dud” characters — have a disability, and others with a disability for the script.
“I would love for people to think about how they treat people, regardless of their intentions, some people with great intentions can still be way off,” Chamley told The Guardian. “I really hope it can start conversations that lead to people being treated equally.”
Those interested in watching “Jeremy the Dud” can watch the full film on YouTube.
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