Disabled actors and advocates plead to Hollywood: ‘Give us a chance, please!

By Tre’vell Andersonontact Reporter
November 2, 2016, 10:15 AM

When Hollywood discusses diversity, it tends to focus on race, gender and, maybe, sexual orientation — but it almost always ignores disability. This was the consistent refrain and impetus behind the Ruderman Studio-Wide Roundtable on Disability Inclusion held Tuesday in Beverly Hills by the Ruderman Family Foundation.

“There is something wrong with this picture,” said Marlee Matlin, an Oscar-winning actress. “We as an industry keep talking about diversity — we know we have a problem. But, sadly, when we start speaking about diversity, disability seems to be left out far too often.”

Jay Ruderman, president of the foundation, added: “As Hollywood begins to come to terms that the entertainment industry needs to reflect modern day America, it is imperative that the largest minority among us, people with disabilities, is not left by the sidelines.”

“Audiences want to see us and we want to be seen. We deserve 110% to be seen.”
— Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin

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