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April 20, 2014

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Why isn't Artie on Glee played by a disabled actor?

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 11th 2009 2:04PM
Kevin McHale as Artie on Glee. From the episode When I saw the kids from Glee sing at the World Series earlier this month, I was surprised to see that Kevin McHale, the actor who plays disabled gleester Artie, wasn't disabled in real life.

Not sure why this surprised me; non-disabled actors have been playing disabled characters for decades. Maybe it's because McHale handles his wheelchair so well, or because Glee seems to be pretty proud of its not-calling-attention-to-itself brand of diversity. Maybe I just figured that, in 2009, hiring a disabled actor to play a disabled character wasn't a big deal.

I guess I was wrong. And I'm not the only one who's puzzled and disappointed by the show's decision. Tonight's episode, in which the gleesters rally around Artie so he can travel with them to the regionals, is the jumping-off point for an AP article on how disappointed disabled actors are about the casting of McHale in the role.

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Laura Innes talks about leaving ER

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2007 7:33PM
Laura Innes on ERFor those of you who watched last week's ER and thought, "Whoa! Weaver got fired?!", you're not alone. But if you also thought that there might be an opening for Laura Innes' character to stick around, you'd be wrong. Innes tells TVGuide.com that she's definitely leaving the show after tonight's episode; she may come back for an episode or two next year, but that's about it.

Basically, after playing Kerry Weaver for over eleven years, she just felt it was time to go. That's kind of a surprise to me, because for the first time in a few years, the Weaver character was actually going in a good direction, with a new hip, a new girlfriend, and that TV job. And, because she was just a plain attending and not management, her power-hungry side was gone. But that was part of the plan to have her leave, according to Innes, as well as making it a mid-season surprise.

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