The Disability Con

Explore the role of the "disability con" in films like The Usual Suspects, The Score, and The Ex. The disability con consists of a character feigning disability in order to appear harmless or pitiable. This is an example of what David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder call "narrative prosthesis." What is the effect of characters faking disabilities? How do these films alter the way we view disability? Are these portrayals harmful, helpful, or neutral?

  • Oh, interesting topic! I wonder, would "There's Something About Mary" fit into this trope, too? – cray0309 9 years ago
  • Yes, There's Something About Mary is another good example of the disability con, as is Arrested Development: Maggie Lizer first fakes blindness and then pregnancy to manipulate others. – JLaurenceCohen 9 years ago

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