Guest Blog – Disability representation in Bridgerton 

This month’s guest blog comes courtesy of our Digital Marketing & Communications Officer (and self-confessed film & TV buff) Arijana, who explores how the latest season of Bridgerton positive represents aspects of disability – explaining it in truest regency fashion! 

Dearest Gentle Readers,  

This past month, Bridgerton has once again graced our screens with the most tantalising information on the latest happenings within “the ton”. Today however, we shall direct your interest to a pursuit more admirable than plain old gossip. We shall instead focus on Bridgerton’s ever-diverse cast that portrays regency-era London in a more inclusive light. It is a portrayal of disability that is both refreshing and essential, all thanks to the introduction of the young Lord Remington, as well as the continued portrayal of characters such as Lady Danbury and King George.  

If you are not familiar with these fine characters, allow me to introduce you…

A Wheelchair Fit for a Lord 

A gentleman like no other, Lord Remington quickly stole our hearts – played by the amazing Zak Ford-Williams who himself is a disabled actor. Bridgerton’s attention to historical detail extends to assistive equipment and demonstrates that disabled individuals were always an integral part of society, despite the fact their stories were often overlooked or excluded from historical narratives.  

Lord Remington’s wheelchair is based on designs from the early nineteenth century and is a strong emblem of the contributions of disabled people throughout history. It is also not here as an accessory, but to normalise the presence of disability and remind us all to challenge its future stereotypical portrayals.  

Arijana – Our Digital Marketing and Communications Officer

Portrayal of British Sign Language  

This season’s portrayal of the British Sign Language was a welcome surprise, highlighting the show’s dedication to portraying a diverse society. Bridgerton has excelled in effortlessly integrating BSL into the story, enabling more dynamic interactions between characters and promoting that everyone deserves to be acknowledged and represented. 

A history of representation 

Although Bridgerton’s third season garnered much praise for its diverse characters, let us not forget the previous seasons, mainly the portrayals of characters like Lady Danbury and King George (featured in the ‘Queen Charlotte’ spin-off). 

Throughout the series Lady Danbury, the show’s most beloved and recognisable character, uses a cane as a walking aid. Her presence is commanding precisely because of her disability, and it is recognised as a component of her personality, which adds to her strength as a unique and respected character. 

King George’s mental health condition, depicted in the show’s spin-off ‘Queen Charlotte’, adds another layer to Bridgerton’s approach to disability. The programme handles the challenges George faces delicately, avoiding sensationalism and emphasising the humanity of living with a mental illness. This contributes to de-stigmatisation of mental illness and fosters a better understanding amongst viewers.  

To close 

All in all, dear Readers, Bridgerton Season 3 has established a new norm for disability depiction in our beloved media. One can only hope that Bridgerton’s admirable commitment to inclusion will inspire others in the entertainment industry to follow suit, ensuring that the tales of people with disabilities are presented with the dignity, authenticity, and respect that they deserve. 

Yours truly,