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As the conversation around diversity in Hollywood widens, inclusion has become an increasingly important priority for top entertainment executives. On Aug. 10, Hollywood veterans including Sony’s Brett King, Film Independent’s Jennifer Kushner, DreamWorks’ Ania O’Hare and Universal’s Gesumino Rulli, gathered for a panel hosted by Easterseals Disabilities Services to discuss their most recent diversity initiatives.

“I look for opportunities for diversity as it touches the business of film or television, and try to remove barriers to inclusion and expansion,” King, the VP of creative programming, diversity and inclusion at Sony Pictures, said. King continued to explain Sony’s specific initiatives, such as creating sets that are accessible to those with disabilities. “I try to get people into the party that aren’t usually invited to the dance.”

Kushner, the director of artist development at Film Independent, has also spearheaded diversity efforts for people with disabilities, noting that HBO has allowed her and her team to support disabled artists. Last year, HBO’s generous funding allowed them to accommodate a deaf filmmaker into their producing lab by hiring interpreters on set.

 

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