Disabled model told to ‘pass’ during London Fashion Week casting call, report says
In a number of incidents of discrimination recorded by a modeling agency for people with disabilities, a model whose arm was amputated said a recruiter told her to “move on” during a casting for the London Fashion Week.
According to a report in TimeModel Jue Snell said she was standing in line at a table among hundreds of models when a woman lifted her hand and said, “We’re not doing a disability, move on.”
The incident was recorded by Zebedee Management, a specialist talent agency representing people with disabilities in fashion, media and the arts.
The agency helped catapult British teenager Ellie Goldstein into the limelight by becoming the first model with Down’s syndrome to model for Gucci.
Snell, 41, developed sepsis after being electrocuted while plugging in her laptop and had her lower left arm amputated in March 2015. She said Time she attended the casting in February last year, organized by Fashion Scout.
She said a man at another hearing table looked at her arm and asked, “What is this?” before telling him: “No, continue. “
“I’ve been through a lot, I’m a pretty tough cookie, but I don’t think anyone makes me feel as different and so worthless, really, as what they did,” said the Cheshire- based model and mother of two.
Fashion Scout, which hosted off-schedule shows for emerging designers during London Fashion Week, said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened to learn about Jue Snell’s experience and the impact it has had. on her.
“We would really like to apologize for any discrimination and injustice she suffered or felt at any of the events we have hosted.”
Zebedee Management was co-founded by Laura Johnson and Zoe Proctor in 2017 to champion the diversity and representation of people with disabilities in the UK.
Research by Lloyds Bank in 2020 showed that less than 20% of advertisements in the UK feature minority groups, with just 0.06% featuring people with disabilities while a fifth of the population is registered as disabled .
Johnson told the newspaper the industry has shown some improvement but is not moving fast enough.
She said standardizing the casting of people with disabilities would create a less discriminatory environment “because you work with people with disabilities on set more often.”