The Media Access Awards, in partnership with nonprofit disability services organization Easterseals, has announced the honorees of the awards show, which include critically-acclaimed documentary “Crip Camp,” Netflix’s “Away” and Ramy Youssef.
The award show, which will be presented virtually Nov. 19 and hosted by model and actor Nyle DiMarco, aims to pay tribute to creatives, series and films that have holistically portrayed individuals with disabilities and advanced representation for the disability community both on and off-screen.
“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,” Deborah Calla and Allen Rucker, co-CEOs of Media Access Awards, said in a statement.
The evening will see special appearances from Selma Blair, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Howie Mandel, Eric McCormack and more. Tap dancer and musician Evan Ruggiero will perform, along with aerialist and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Alan Silva.
This year, Easterseals will collaborate with promotional partner Film Independent to make the awards show available to the public. Film Independent will also host a virtual showcase following the event to highlight the work of this year’s honorees and those promoting increased representation of people with disabilities.
Individuals and projects will be honored in six categories. Joshua Jackson (“Little Fires Everywhere”) will present Lauren Ridloff (“The Walking Dead,” “Eternals”) with the SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award; Ato Essandoh (“Away,” “Jason Bourne”) will present Netflix’s “Away” (Jessica Goldberg, Andrew Hinderaker, Jason Katims, Ed Zwick) with the Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award; Andy Samberg will present Netflix’s “Crip Camp” (James LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham) with the Media Access Documentary Award; Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious,” “Empire”) will present Leah Daniels-Butler (“Precious,” “The Butler”) with the Casting Society of America Award; Steve Way (“Ramy”) will present Ramy Youssef with the Writers Guild of America West Evan Somers Memorial Award; and Will Reeve (Ambassador and board member for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation) will present Danny J. Gomez (“New Amsterdam”) with the Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship. The night’s honorees were selected by the diversity committees of their professional guilds.
The Media Access Awards will also announce its second annual Disability List, created in partnership with The Black List, Easterseals Southern California and the Writers Guild of America Writers with Disabilities Committee. The Disability List is a curated list of the most promising unproduced scripts featuring at least one lead character with a disability.
“Easterseals is committed to advancing greater inclusion and disability representation across entertainment. We salute this year’s honorees for their outstanding efforts in working to change the way disability is viewed through authentic storytelling and supporting talented people with disabilities to build careers in front of and behind the camera,” said Mark Whitley, CEO of Easterseals Southern California.
The 2020 Media Access Awards are sponsored by platinum sponsor Kevin S. Bright, gold sponsor CBS and silver sponsors NBC Universal and Walt Disney television. Bronze sponsors include Bunim/Murray Productions, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Sony Pictures.
Stand Up For Heroes
Stand Up for Heroes, presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival, is getting the royal treatment.
Prince Harry will make an appearance during this year’s veterans event, which will take place virtually on Nov. 18.
Hosted by Jon Stewart, the show will also feature performances and appearances by Nate Bargatze, Ronny Chieng, Sheryl Crow, Mickey Guyton, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, Patti Scialfa, Iliza Shlesinger, and Bruce Springsteen, Jeannie Gaffigan and Ray Romano.
“For the last 14 years, the Stand Up for Heroes event has continued to inspire our nation and serves as a reminder of all of the brave individuals that have defended our country selflessly in our military,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News correspondent and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “This year, it is especially important that we unite to show support for their sacrifices as we come together virtually to stand up for our heroes.”
Stand Up For Heroes will air on ABC News Live, TikTok, Facebook, Cheddar, Twitch and Armed Forces Network. Sponsors include Craig Newmark Philanthropies and Veterans on Wall Street, led by Citi, HSBC Bank, and Wells Fargo. The event his supported by Vehicles for Veterans.
“We’re extremely honored and proud to continue our partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation to present Stand Up for Heroes,” said Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway. “We owe so much to our brave military veterans and their families for the service and sacrifice to our country; it’s very humbling to have the opportunity to honor them over the last 14 years through this great event.”