While the practice of blindface may not overtly intend to be stereotypical, it ends up doing that very thing.They humrously drive cars, and sentimentally feel others' faces.Blindness is often the central meme, whether creating angst or conflict or even a superhuman "overcoming" of great magnitude.The trouble is that these stereotypes are all most people ever know about blind people.(The script for this one absolutely cracked me up; they poked fun at some of the experiences that blind people have daily.Blind people can't just bee normal; they have to be a seer or an inspiration or angry and bitter.
Like most people, he had very little exposure to blind people, and what he did know was from movies, and from the writer of the show, whose dad is blind.He's a sighted actor playing a blind character, imitating other sighted actors playing blind characters.Actors have won Academy Awards for playing blind characters, like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.I've heard justification for the practice of "blindface" by saying things like, "if they hadn't used that [sighted] actor, that amazing performance would never have happened." While that may be true, who knows if an alternate actor might have given an equally amazing performance, and possibly not have used the clichéd zombie stare.Thankfully, the practice died out during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
One of the first black actors to be applauded during this time was Sydney Poitier, who did A Patch of Blue, in which he kissed a white woman, a blind character played, of course, by a sighted actor.