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Box-Ticking Exercise: Ellie Simmonds’ Inclusion on Strictly is Hard Fought

Box-Ticking Exercise is the new monthly(-ish) column by Melissa Parker in which she dissects ableism and the portrayal of disability in tv film and media. Being M, this is of course all done with her pen as a scalpel.

Columnist Allison Pearson’s piece about the new series of Strictly Come Dancing expresses an often loud, profoundly entrenched privilege – the right to spew bile mindlessly and without consequence.

“From mis-matched same-sex couples to the show’s first contestant with dwarfism, it’s clear producers value ‘inclusion’ over entertainment.”  

She persists elsewhere in the piece, “but fans I have spoken to already worry our much-loved dance competition is turning into a box-ticking exercise.”  

In a world where disabled people have been hidden away for so long, our equality will always feel like their oppression.