The need for diversity in casting has been a longtime battle for people who work in the entertainment industry. Whether it’s finding performers from different ethnic and sexual backgrounds to fit specific roles, or finding actors with disabilities to represent disabled people on camera, there have been more and more people vocalizing their desire to see broader representation in film and television.

24-year-old Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things fame will take on the role of Joseph Merrick, a man who was born with physical disfigurements on his face and body, and was exploited in the Victorian Era as a sort of sensationalized circus attraction.


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