Lupita Nyong’o has responded to criticism from a host of disability rights groups after admitting that she based her doppelgänger character in Us on a person who was suffering with Spasmodic Dysphonia.
Nyong’o said: “I was inspired by the condition Spasmodic Dysphonia, which is about trauma – sometimes emotional, sometimes physical – and it creates this spasming in your vocal cords.”
The actress went on to say that her character’s voice is not an imitation of the disability: “It’s inspired by the condition, it’s not an exact replica of the condition.”
Her comments were criticised this week by a number of disability organisations, with several groups claiming that her comments misinformed audiences about the disability and demonised those living with the condition. Nyong’o later released a statement apologising for any distress her comments caused.
“In my mind, I wasn’t interested in vilifying or demonising the condition,” she said. “I crafted Red with love and care. So as much as it is in a very genre-specific world, I really wanted to ground her in something that felt real. So for all of that, I say sorry to anyone that I may have offended.”