Netflix to make comedy about – and starring – a gay man with cerebral palsy

Netflix to make comedy about – and starring – a gay man with cerebral palsy
Image: Image: Sarah Walker / Simon & Schuster.

Netflix has ordered a new comedy titled Special which centres on a gay man with cerebral palsy, a major moment in representation for LGBTI people with a disability.

The new show is written and produced by its star Ryan O’Connell, and loosely adapted from his book I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, reported Deadline.

The series is slated to debut on Netflix on April 19, and will be executive produced by Jim Parsons, a gay actor-producer best known for The Big Bang Theory and starring in the TV movie adaptation of The Normal Heart.

O’Connell recently served as executive story editor on Will & Grace and wrote for the teen comedy series Awkward., which introduced major gay characters in its later seasons.

Special will be based on O’Connell’s experiences growing up as a gay man with cerebral palsy.

He stars in the series as a gay man with mild cerebral palsy who rewrites his identity around being an accident victim and finally goes after the life he wants.

The series will be a rare instance of an actor with a disability playing a character with a disability, and touch on dating, drugs, coming out, and more.

Special will also star Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel, Marla Mindelle, Augustus Prew and Patrick Fabian. It’s set to premiere on Netflix on April 19.

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