New PSA Urges More Disability Visibility and Representation in Hollywood

·1-min read

A nationwide PSA has launched on Tuesday that urges Hollywood to increase the number of people with disabilities both behind and in front of the camera.

The campaign, formally known as Disability Is Diversity, comes from the Inevitable Foundation, a nonprofit created 16 months ago by Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska that seeks to fund and mentor disabled mid-career screenwriters.

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The PSAs feature open letters that read, “Dear Entertainment Industry, THERE IS NO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION WITHOUT DISABILITY.”

Disabled people make up more than 20% of the population, but only 2% of on-screen characters have disabilities. Less than 1% of writers in Hollywood are disabled.

Disability Is Diversity is the first campaign created by an all-disabled international team and will run across several platforms, including print, digital, audio and billboards in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta. Partners include JCDecaux, Lamar, Clear Channel, Tiffany & Co, Caruso, Simon Property Group, Becker Boards, Capitol Outdoor, Intersection, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Kevani.

The Inevitable Foundation also runs a screenwriting fellowship that awards $40,000 to disabled mid-career screenwriters.

Variety exclusively reported the launch of Inevitable in June 2021. At the time, a report on the television writing from the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity found that 93% of disabled writers surveyed said they were the only disabled person on staff, and 97% of writing rooms had no upper-level disabled writers.

The org’s first two screenwriting fellows were Shani Am. Moore and Kalen Feeney, who received $40,000 grants and assistance in building relationships they need to succeed in the industry.

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