International Day for Persons with Disabilities

Turn disability into something unique, says actor R.J Mitte

‘Breaking Bad’ actor, R.J Mitte, urges people to have a positive perspective on disability. In a video message for the International Labour Organization, to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Mitte says disability can be an opportunity to learn and grow.

Comunicado de prensa | 3 de diciembre de 2015
LOS ANGELES – Actor, R.J Mitte, who plays a lead role in the television series Breaking Bad, has challenged people to look at disability in a positive light.

In an interview with the International Labour Organization to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities, he calls for more understanding about disability.

He said people should to stop looking at disability as something to fix or get rid of but as ‘an opportunity to learn and to grow and to change and to challenge who we are and what we are.”


Mitte, who has cerebral palsy, underlined the importance of embracing diversity and sent a positive message to people with disabilities.

“I don’t care who you are, what life or where you fit in this world. If you want something, and this isn’t just acting but anything, if you want something bad then take it. It’s not going to be easy. Nothing in this life that you really want, that it is really worth anything to you, comes without a price.”

Senior Disability Specialist of the ILO’s Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch, Stefan Trömel said, “Today, we reaffirm our commitment to regarding disability as an example of human diversity. By embracing diversity, we enrich our communities, workplaces and help create more sustainable societies. This "Day for All" recognizes that we all benefit from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in our societies.”

TRANSCRIPT:

I think disability is something that we all share a common ground with. If you don’t have something that is necessarily physical, you probably will have something in your life that’s mental. We all have these different diversities in our life and I think it’s understanding, and being there for one another, and trying to understand what we are a little bit better.

I think that this business is difficult for everyone. The thing is you if want it you work for it. I don’t care who you are, what walk of life or where you fit into this world. If you want something, and this isn’t just acting but anything, if you want something bad then take it. It’s not going to be easy. Nothing in this life that you really want, that it’s really worth anything to you, comes without a price.

People with disabilities are an opportunity for people to see what the human body can do. And it’s a reminder and I think people need to look at it as that, more than something that needs to be cured or fixed, or whatever it is that you’re trying to overcome. And yes, you need to overcome it. But not by getting rid of it but by understanding it. By understanding yourself and understanding what you want.

Think better that you can understand what this is and what you can do with this. And it’s not necessarily what you want to do but what you can do with this and turning it into something unique. We need to stop looking at disabilities as an illness and as something that we have to get rid of, and look at it as: “This is an opportunity to learn and to grow, and to change, and to challenge who we are and what we are”.

You will have challenges in your life that will affect what you want to do. And we allow our fear to manipulate us. We allow our fear to control what we want. And I think that falls really with disabilities. And we need to understand we have to overcome them but we have to learn to utilize them to our best ability.

I’d like to thank the ILO for supporting and fighting for people with disabilities. Thank you so much and keep the fight.