Guest Interview – Eileen Grubba, Hollywood Actress

Eileen Grubba is an accomplished actress, writer and producer. She is on the new NBC series “Game Of Silence”. She’s worked on Bones, Criminal Minds, Sons of Anarchy, The Five Year Engagement, The Closer, Cold Case, Hung, CSI Miami, The Mentalist, Masters of Sex, Nip/Tuck, Monk, E.R. and many other shows, films and in theater. She is a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio, an advocate for families with hereditary cancers, children with disabilities, and an advocate for the hiring of people with physical challenges in the entertainment industry.

Q. How can we all better help the most vulnerable in our society?
“We can help them by allowing them in. Stop treating them like they are separate and unwanted. Give them equal opportunity, and whatever support they need to have the same opportunities as everyone else. I believe all of humanity will benefit when ALL people are given the same opportunity to develop their strengths and talents, and share them with the world.”

Q. Can religion help?
“Religion can help in the sense that religious leaders can encourage acceptance among their communities and help the masses understand that all people were created by God. There is a reason and purpose for ALL of us. It is our differences that complete the picture. We cannot leave out the many colors, facets, or challenges of humanity.”

Q. Can a Government make a significant difference?
“Yes! By making it illegal to discriminate against the disabled, or physically challenged, or anyone, based on their differences. They can demand equal opportunity for all.

Q. Are we now a less caring society?
“I’m not sure about that. There have been harder times. Hitler murdered every person with a disability, starting with the babies. I think we are doing better than that, although there are still a lot of people with the same mindset towards disability.”

Q.How can we promote inclusivity?
“We all can do our part within the communities we influence. My focus is on encouraging the entertainment industry, and the advertising world, to include people with physical differences regularly in their commercials, TV shows and films, allowing them to be seen as a normal part of society. I believe this will help change the collective conscious to create a more inclusive society. We fear what we do not know. It is FEAR that causes most people to isolate those with disabilities and physical challenges. It is this fear, coupled with an animalistic need to conquer “the weak,” that causes most bullying that happens to kids with disabilities, and continues on in the adult workplace. If we show people with disabilities in TV, commercials and films, in a way that truly reflects their lives and contributions, people will become used to seeing differences, and therefore less afraid, and finally, more accepting and inclusive.

We as a society cannot continue to punish people for their differences, especially those who have already suffered enough just trying to survive. Our industries have the power to enlighten and elevate humanity. If we can include more people with challenges in every industry, they will become more accepted, more common, a more normal part of the human race. If we would show them in a positive light, and appreciate what they have come through, we would probably eradicate most bullying, exclusion and isolation. We would also welcome a new workforce into society: people with great determination, endurance, enthusiasm, passion, problem solvers, creative thinkers with different visions, who could change the world if we let them in.

By excluding these people from society and expecting them to live silently, in the shadows, on disability, and in poverty, we are cutting off a major life force that could infuse great insight and ingenuity into all our lives. We could possibly be cutting off the answers to all of society’s problems by excluding the people most experienced in survival and adaptability. Everyone has gifts and talents to share with the world. I believe when someone has a disability, often their talents are even more focused, as evidenced by people like Stephen Hawking, Stevie Wonder and so many more. We can’t shut them out, they have too much brilliance to offer.”