Unable to jump for Glee

Criticism over an American drama which reaches UK screens tonight.

E4 has bought yet another Yankee drama over to our screens and the series kicks off tonight.

Set in an American High School Glee revolves around a choir called 'New Directions' also known as The Glee Club. However you think we are going to spend the rest of this article talking about yet another teenage trash TV show, think again. We wouldn't stoop that low!

No, the reason why we are bringing Glee to your attention is because Kevin McHale plays Artie, a paraplegic student at the fictional William McKinley High School.

Last year McHale had to stand on his own two 'real' feet to defend criticism that an able-bodied actor should play the part of a character with a disability.

Another criticism which the producers had to face was over episode 11. The show, titled 'Wheels' shows the whole choir performing a song-and-dance routine in wheelchairs to support Artie's disability. One of the viewers who took offence by the plot was Robert David Hall, better known as playing Dr. Albert Robbins in CSI.

"I think there's a fear of litigation, that a person with disabilities might slow a production down, fear that viewers might be uncomfortable. I've made my living as an actor for 30 years and I walk on two artificial legs," Hall told USA Today in November.

Other subplots in the show include a young lady with Down syndrome, played by an actress who has the condition and another character that is mentally disabled and, as it appears, played by a mentally disabled actor.

So is Glee a frown towards disabled viewers or did the Yanks cause a fuss about nothing? Make up your own minds when Glee airs on E4 Monday nights at 9pm.