Ramy Youssef, Netflix’s ‘Crip Camp’ and ‘Away’ to Be Honored for Positive Disability Depictions
The Easterseals-presented Media Access Awards will feature appearances by Selma Blair, Whoopi Goldberg, Joshua Jackson, Jimmy Kimmel, Andy Samberg and Gabourey Sidibe.
The Media Access Awards — an event designed to honor disability and its depictions in film, TV, and new media — will go virtual Nov. 19 with Nyle DiMarco on board to host the Easterseals-presented show.
The honorees are selected by diversity committees of professional guilds with awards from the Casting Society of America (CSA), Producers Guild of America (PGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA).
This year’s honorees are: SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award to Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead), presented by Joshua Jackson; Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award to Netflix’s Away as presented by Ato Essandoh; Media Access Documentary Award to Netflix’s Crip Camp as presented by Andy Samberg; Casting Society of America Award to Leah Daniels Butler (Precious) as presented by Gabourey Sidibe; Writers Guild of America West Evan Somers Memorial Award to Ramy Youssef, as presented by Steve Way; and the Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship to Danny J. Gomez (New Amsterdam) as presented by Reeve’s son, Will Reeve.
Also during the show, the Media Access Awards will unveil the second annual Disability List, a curated selection of the most promising unproduced scripts featuring at least one lead character with a disability, created in partnership with The Black List, Easterseals Southern California, and the Writers Guild of America Writers with Disabilities Committee.
The Media Access Awards will feature special appearances from disability inclusion supporters like Selma Blair, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Howie Mandel, Eric McCormack, tap dancer and musician Evan Ruggiero and America’s Got Talent finalist Alan Silva.
Easterseals is collaborating with promotional partner Film Independent to make the event open to the public. Film Independent is also set to host a virtual showcase in the days following as a way to highlight the work of the honorees.
“One out of four American adults has a disability, but they rarely see their lives reflected in the stories told on film and television. The Media Access Awards is an ongoing campaign to change that reality. And it will change. People with disabilities will be seen and heard,” said Deborah Calla and Allen Rucker co-CEO Media Access Awards.
The Media Access Awards streamopens in a new window Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. PT.