NBCUniversal vows auditions for actors with disabilities

TV-Disability Inclusion
Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 29, 2021

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An effort to bring people with disabilities into clearer focus on TV and movie screens is getting a boost from a major media company.

NBCUniversal says that actors with disabilities will be included in auditions for each new production.

The agreement was sought by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a disability rights advocate.

This is the second pledge made to the foundation to boost auditions for people with disabilities.

The first came from CBS Entertainment in 2019, and the foundation hopes other Hollywood studios follow suit.

Jay Ruderman heads the Boston-based foundation and says what people see on screen can change their perception of those with disabilities.

Ruderman told The Associated Press that the more people with disabilities are seen in roles, “it will have ramifications throughout society."

In 2018, only about 22% of characters with disabilities were “authentically portrayed by actors with disabilities" on a network and streaming shows, The AP reported.