Paramount takes landmark step, pledges to audition actors with disabilities
"Representation matters." It's a rallying cry we've heard aplenty. But how many have walked the talk? Paramount Pictures has now committed to auditioning disabled actors for studio productions. This is a huge step forward at a time when disability representation is often overlooked in Hollywood and other film industries. This move will pave the way for an inclusive and diverse cast in the future.
'Inclusion of individuals with disabilities is central to authentic commitment'
Paramount chairman-CEO Jim Gianopulos told Variety, "Inclusion of individuals with disabilities is central to an authentic commitment to diversity in our industry and in our community." "We are proud to adopt these guidelines as a crucial step in the ongoing work of prioritizing and furthering diversity and inclusion both in the making and in the telling of the stories we share with audiences everywhere."
Ruderman Family Foundation continues to elevate the lives of disabled
Ruderman Family Foundation, one of America's leading advocates for the disabled, has often criticized Hollywood for its portrayal of people with disabilities. Now, Paramount has adopted the Foundation's guidelines for auditioning disabled actors for feature-length films and television shows. This decision comes after CBS Entertainment also took a stand and became the first major studio committed to an increased disabled representation in 2019.
'A significant step toward cementing a culture of inclusion'
Jay Ruderman, President of the Foundation, has applauded the initiative from the studio. He said, "Paramount Pictures has taken a significant step toward cementing a culture of inclusion that the company has already put into practice for years, including by working with actors with disabilities across its divisions and making casting decisions that reflect authentic representation in high-profile roles."
Take a note: Here's why representation matters
Hollywood continues to churn out movies with non-disabled actors cast as disabled characters. This happens despite people with disabilities constantly fighting for representation and being ignored for work. The motto "Nothing about us without us" needs to be ingrained within Hollywood to raise more awareness. An accurate representation of disability is rarely portrayed in Hollywood movies, and it's about time the issue is addressed.
Hollywood can become torchbearer for disability inclusion in our society
Since Hollywood is so far-reaching and influential, it can reflect society's values and become a catalyst for change in mindset. Representation matters because disabled actors will bring genuine life experiences with them. They can add valuable insights to make the project more honest and authentic.