Celebrating Her Difference
February 17, 2005
For two decades Bree Walker tried to hide her deformity while becoming a star news anchor in Los Angeles. The blonde beauty was born with Ectrodactyly, sometimes called Lobster Claw Syndrome, a condition which fused her hands and feet together.
"I had to essentially pretend there was nothing different about my hands and my feet," she admitted of her career. "I've spent my whole life working in an industry, acting as if I weren't a little different."
But now in a bold, controversial move, Bree has decided to celebrate her difference by starring as sideshow attraction "Sabina the Scorpion Queen" on HBO's dark drama "Carnivale."
"If I were living in the '30's Dustbowl Depression era, and I were lucky enough not to be hidden away in a closet or drowned at birth, I'd be a sideshow attraction," she insisted.
But some advocates for the disabled are outraged about Bree's decision to use her disability in a freak show. A prominent voice for the disabled, Bree has been besieged with nasty e-mails and several speaking engagements have been cancelled. But Bree tells "Extra" that at age 51, she's finally breaking free from her deformity.
"I'm celebrating my difference and having a character that's centered around my difference," she said.
Walker came under fire once before, for her decision to have kids back in the 1990's. "There were people who thought I shouldn't have kids," she admitted.
Bree's condition was passed on to her son and daughter, but she feels blessed for her kids and the new character that has helped her celebrate her difference. "It was an amazing experience," she said.