Lopez said Skyscraper gave her "a depiction of disability I actually loved", thanking the film's creators for avoiding a story in the mould of The Theory of Everything, Stronger and Me Before You - in other words, 'Oscar bait'.
Films are dubbed as 'Oscar bait' if they bring disability into the narrative just to "inspire the able-bodied audience buying a ticket with the story of this presumably courageous individual who overcame some horrific death sentence".
But, for Lopez, Skyscraper wasn't guilty of using Will's disability to provide adversity or to provide narrative tension. She writes:
People with disabilities don’t want their disability to define them, and Will’s doesn’t define his character.
It adds to it.
However, Lopez is keen to remind us that disabled representation is far from solved: Johnson climbs, jumps and walks in a way that "gives away his able-bodiedness". And his character is also able-bodied before a traumatic event, a 'buffer' Lopez says is "created as a means of helping the able-bodied audience bond with the newly disabled character".
Other point out that the problems don't stop there.
For one, there are a vanishingly small number of disabled actors out there, and Johnson is an abled-bodied man playing a disabled role.
Good on The Rock, but I mean, how about casting directors get ACTUAL DISABLED PEOPLE to play… disabled people in fi… https://t.co/YAjRriHcfV
— Steven Aquino (he/him) (@Steven Aquino (he/him))
@eviewrites Right. As I mention in the article, we shouldn't be saying disabled representation is solved. However I… https://t.co/dNm21a9xnl