Transforming Faces was disheartened to see that Disney’s recent release, The Lone Ranger, features Butch Cavendish, a villain who was given an artificial cleft lip to appear more sinister.
“I’ve met many children over the past 10 years who have been affected by cleft lip and palate – they are resilient, strong and beautiful. But, I have also seen the physical as well as emotional scars that these individuals often carry. They are often bullied and taunted at school or depicted as villains,” said Esteban Lasso, Executive Director of TF.
In 2012, Changing Faces, the UK’s leading disfigurement charity, commissioned a YouGov survey which found that bad teeth, scars, burns and other conditions affecting the face are viewed as the most common indicators of an evil or villainous character in a film. Changing Faces then launched Face Equality on Film, which encouraged a balanced portrayal of people with disfigurements in films.
“It’s disheartening that a major motion picture would perpetuate this negative perception and we hope that in future, birth defects and facial differences will not be used to portray ‘evil’ characters,” said Lasso.