Two actresses with Down syndrome who appear in recurring roles on Fox’s “Glee” will be recognized Thursday for positively portraying individuals with developmental disabilities.
The Arc will present Lauren Potter and Robin Trocki with the group’s first-ever Inclusion and Image Award during the advocacy organization’s annual convention in Orlando, Fla.
Potter and Trocki were selected for the honor for “breaking down barriers, increasing awareness and challenging stereotypes” through their roles on the show, according to officials at The Arc.
“We wanted to commend the actresses and the show in particular for providing positive portrayals of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Laura Hart, a spokeswoman for The Arc. “They’ve been seen throughout the world both on the show and as people and actresses who had a dream and have fulfilled it.”
On the show, Potter, 20, plays Becky Jackson, a high school cheerleader who’s taken under the wing of the squad’s hard-nosed coach Sue Sylvester. Meanwhile, Trocki portrays Sylvester’s sister, Jean.
Both women tried out for the roles on “Glee” last year after being contacted by a talent agency run by the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles.
“Glee” has received praise as well as criticism for its portrayals of individuals with disabilities. The show is seen as innovative by some for including Potter and Trocki’s characters, but it has also gotten flack for casting Kevin McHale, who does not have a disability, to play Artie Abrams, a character who uses a wheelchair.