‘Breaking Bad’ star speaks on overcoming disability

“Breaking Bad” star RJ Mitte, who has mild cerebral palsy, speaks on the importance of overcoming disabilities and ending bullying.

The group in the Ball Room once the Auditorium had filled up waiting on the program to start. Alyssa White/TNJN

The group in the Ball Room once the Auditorium had filled up waiting on the program to start. Alyssa White/TNJN
The group in the Ball Room once the Auditorium had filled up waiting on the program to start.
Alyssa White/TNJN

“Breaking Bad” star RJ Mitte spoke on behalf of Disability Week at the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center on Thursday and talked about the issue of people with disabilities being bullied, saying that it’s important that people overcome their disabilities and use it as an advantage.

“Don’t let fear overtake you,” he said. “You could do whatever you want; fear pushes that away.”

Mitte learned this growing up since he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age three.

“People see things that are different, and they don’t understand,” he said.

When he was 14-years-old, Mitte was in a hospital hallway and saw an elderly patient fall, and he watched people that were closer to her either walk around or even on top of her.

“No one wants to be that first person that makes that difference,” he said.

Today, Mitte is making that difference by being a spokesperson for many disability organizations, including the National Disability Institute’s Real Economic Impact Tour, “I AM PWD,” and “Beyond Diversity: The Future is Now.”

In his talk, Mitte explained the effects of cyber bullying and the repercussions of posting on social media.

“People will use what you say and what you do and will manipulate it against you, and so you have to be careful,” he said, furthering by sharing a story about one of his friend’s not getting a job because of comments he posted on Instagram.

“I love “Breaking Bad.” He is just an inspiration. I am also disabled, and hearing him talk and some of the things he said I could really relate to him and some of the things he has gone through,” said Taylor Snyder, a UT sophomore studying Therapeutic Recreations.

“I think his stance is great and that everybody needs to learn more about bullying. There needs to be a change on how we view things,” said Reyna White, a freshman studying Business at Pellissippi State Community College.

Mitte, who’s in several TV shows and movies, also told how he got his acting start, and it didn’t begin with him claiming the spotlight.

According to Mitte, his sister was discovered when she was one year old, and when his family auditioned agents for her, one of the agents asked if he was interested in acting.

Since then, Mitte has starred in “Breaking Bad,” “Hannah Montana,” “7th Heaven,” and “Switched at Birth.”

Alyssa White also contributed to this story. 

Edited by Maggie Jones