James Bond: Disability activists call for end to ‘obsolete trope’ of villains with facial disfigurements
Disability activists are calling for a change in the “lazy” and “obsolete” use of facial scars in James Bond films.
In No time to die, Daniel Craig’s latest film as a secret agent, Bond appears alongside villains Safin (Rami Malek) and Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), both of whom have facial disfigurements.
Scars and facial disabilities have often been used to signify evil in the film franchise, including Javier Bardem’s deformed jaw and teeth in Fall from the sky, as well as Mads Mikkelsen’s damaged eye in Casino Royale.
Author Jen Campbell denounced the practice in a Twitter thread, writing, “Whenever a new James Bond film is shot, producers are urged to reconsider their portrayal of disfigurement. Every time, they say they don’t care. The new movie, released this week, is no exception. This time, two villains with facial disfigurements. We are lucky. “
Presenter Adam Pearson, who suffers from neurofibromatosis, a disorder in which tumors form in nervous tissue, said ITV News: “When the only character with a scar or disfigurement is shown onscreen as the villain, it perpetuates the use of an old-fashioned, outdated trope.
“It’s not about forbidding baddies from getting scars or telling people not to enjoy a trip to the movies, it’s about putting a line in the sand and saying it Now is the time to make sure that other characters can be seen on screen with a visible difference too. “
In a 2012 interview with geek lairProducer Michael G Wilson said of the connection, “Sometimes it’s a motivator in their lives, and what makes them who they are. He had that as part of the characters he designed. It’s just part of the writing tradition, though, really.
In 2018, the British Film Institute stopped funding films in which villains appear with facial disfigurements following a Changing Faces campaign called I Am Not Your Villain. The charity called the practice a “lazy stereotype” and said it had to stop.
The independent contacted representatives for No time to die for comment.
No time to die is published on Thursday, September 30.