The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker has been applauded for giving a frank and passionate speech about ableism on the Channel 4 show.
The comedian, who was born with hand and arm deformities and has a prosthetic leg, spoke about a woman who was warned that users of a dating app would be ‘reluctant to date someone with a disability.’
As host Adam Hill revealed, BBC journalist Lucy Webster signed up for an account with a dating service. She was later contacted by the company suggesting she waited until they had set up a separate site ‘for the disabled’.
‘It’s obviously not [ok],’ Alex said, discussing the issue.
‘When I was online dating I never disclosed my disability. I wanted to keep it as a bit of a surprise.
‘I’d drop hints. I’d say “how do you feel about parking closer to places?” “Do you like cutting up other people’s food?” “How much are you into high fives?”’ he joked.
‘I can joke about it now, but I can tell you that what the company did there – no matter what their intentions were in the first place – was to tell someone that they shouldn’t bother, because somebody might not want them because of what they look like.’
The comedian added: ‘Believe me, when I was online dating, if I’d received an email like that, it would have devastated me. I remember being self-conscious with my hand. I remember being too scared to tell people about my leg and hiding it.
‘You don’t need to tell someone else to tell you what you’re self-conscious of, and the thing that you’re most worried about people not wanting you for. It’s not for them to say that.’
Alex went on to say: ‘The disabled only dating service, it’s kind of “stick to your own kind”. You wouldn’t turn around to people with big noses – all due respect to people with big noses – and say “look, people with the big hooters have struggled on here”.
‘It made me so desperately sad for the woman involved. The dating game is a struggle for anyone, whether they’re able-bodied or not,’ the comedian said.
‘The company involved said it was a society problem… but if you want to change a problem don’t perpetuate it more. It’s up to us… If someone on a dating site does see a disabled person, you shouldn’t dismiss them out of hand – for want of a better phrase – because when we say “you complete me” we mean it.’
The speech was applauded by viewers on social media, with many praising the honesty and the passion of Alex’s words.
Alex’s speech was described as ’sensitive and funny without diminishing how it would make someone feel who is already nervous about entering the dating game’ by one viewer.
‘His explanation of why that dating app disability discrimination was so bad was really frank and passionate,’ another said.
Alex was previously praised for his 2020 documentary Disability and Me, which explored the affect that his disability has had on his life, as well as a host of other areas in society, including support systems and family life.
The comedian also previously hit out at the Anne Hathaway film The Witches for ‘reinforcing the stigma’ surrounding disability.
The Last Leg airs continues on Friday at 10pm on Channel 4
Credit: Original article published here.