×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Media Access Awards Honor Hollywood for Depicting People With Disabilities

Hollywood was saluted on Friday for its depictions of people with disabilities at the Media Access Awards, which honoree Nic Novicki quipped was “like the Oscars, but with more wheelchairs and sign language.”

Novicki said that people with disabilities represent 20% of the population, making them “the largest minority group in the country.”

Celebs in attendance included Norman Lear (who got the only standing ovation), Michael Keaton, Jacob Tremblay and Jason George, but the spotlight was on the people in the audience who work hard to remind the industry that disabilities are under-represented, even with all the diversity-inclusion conversations.

The event, produced by Deborah Calla and Allen Rucker, was held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.

Individuals and organizations were honored with eight trophies, including Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman, the Producers Guild of America Award; Telsey + Company, the Casting Society of America Award; producer Fern Field with the Norman Lear-Geri Jewell Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Ruderman Family Foundation, SAG-AFTRA Disability Awareness Award.

Also, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, WGAW excellence in writing award; Robia Rashid, WGAW Evan Somers memorial award; Novicki, the SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell award; and Mickey Rowe, given the Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship.

Lear and Field were among the founders of the first Media Access Awards in 1979 and they pioneered depictions of disability; they also hired Geri Jewell for “Facts of Life” in 1980, the first person with disabilities on a sitcom. Keaton joined Lear and Field onstage, recalling that he starred in a short about disabilities for Field back in 1978, “A Different Approach,” which was Oscar nominated.

Lieberman and Hoberman have produced multiple movies via their Mandeville Films, including a trio in 2017: “Stronger,” “Wonder” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Actor Novicki created the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, in which filmmakers (with or without disabilities) are invited to complete a short film in a single weekend. Rowe is the first actor on the autism spectrum to star in Christopher Boone’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” a play that centers on the topic.

The event was hosted by actor Oliver Trevena and Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School. Girma joked that “public speaking is easy when you can’t see the audience.”

More Biz

  • Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of

    Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of Global Music

    Paradigm Talent Agency has named Marty Diamond the Head of Global Music, leading the agency’s representation artists worldwide, the company announced today. His personal client roster includes Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Janelle Monáe, Sigur Rós, Sara Bareilles, Liam Gallagher, Sia, Lorde, Alessia Cara, Bastille, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne and Vance Joy. Diamond will head Paradigm’s music [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Kamala Harris Democratic candidate for US

    UCLA, Howard University Partner on Internship Program to Foster Diversity in Hollywood

    Increased focus on college students may be one way to pave a more diverse future in Hollywood. A new program from the UCLA Anderson School for Management’s Summer Institute at the Center for MEMES (Media, Entertainment & Sports) in partnership with Howard University gives students the opportunity to learn the ropes of the entertainment industry [...]

  • Anne del Castillo Named NYC's Commissioner

    Anne del Castillo Named New York City's Commissioner of Media and Entertainment

    The film and TV industries in New York City have a new boss: Anne del Castillo, who has been tapped by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Del Castillo had served as general counsel and chief operating officer of MOME since 2015. She succeeds Julie [...]

  • Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President

    Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President of A&R for the U.S.

    Warner/Chappell Music has announced the promotion of Ryan Press to president of A&R, U.S. Press, who joined the publisher in 2009, has worked closely with an array of acclaimed songwriters and producers, including Rihanna, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Khaled, Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill, T-Minus, Tayla Parx, Gucci Mane, Mike Elizondo, Aloe Blacc, The-Dream, Priscilla Renea, Lil [...]

  • Sarah BarnettAMC - SundanceTV 'State of

    Listen: AMC Networks' Sarah Barnett on Finding TV's 'Holy Grail'

    Sarah Barnett’s new job at AMC Networks has her overseeing four cable channels and two streaming platforms. She’s spent the past few months since her promotion to president of entertainment networks adjusting operations, assembling the right team and diving deeper into AMC’s investment in audience research and analytic tools. But none of that work matters [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Beanie Feldstein Writes Touching Tribute to Her Brother, Maroon 5 Manager Jordan

    Actress Beanie Feldstein has written a moving tribute to her late brother Jordan, longtime manager of Maroon 5, who passed away of a heart attack in December of 2017. “It is impossible. Grief is just impossible. It cannot be contained or summarized or enclosed,” the tribute, published in InStyle, begins. “To describe the wound grief [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content