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Will Jessop: It’s fashionable to be diverse, but is it true diversity?

Co-creator of Tommy Jessop Goes to Hollywood on disability representation, typecasting and encountering the ‘Hollywood no’

The co-creator and director of upcoming BBC1 doc Tommy Jessop Goes to Hollywood has suggested the US is lagging some way behind the UK on attitudes to disability representation on-screen.

Director Will Jessop jointly created the hour-long observational doc – which is produced by BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit – alongside his actor brother Tommy (Line of Duty), who has Down Syndrome. It sees the pair head to LA to pitch Tommy’s idea for a film about a superhero with Down Syndrome.

Despite positive encounters and encouragement from the likes of Key & Peele producer Joel Zadak and The Peanut Butter Falcon actor Zack Gottsagen, the Jessops said their general experience of Hollywood – and their struggle to get a foot in the door – exposed outdated attitudes.

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