Last week, the Media Access Awards, in partnership with nonprofit disability services provider Easterseals, celebrated the honorees of the 2020 Media Access Awards. This year’s event paid tribute, virtually, to those individuals, series, and films that have redefined on-screen representation for the disability community, while advancing the portrayal and employment of people with disabilities in Hollywood.
To view the show in its entirety and learn more about the showcase, visit:
Advocate, producer, model and actor Nyle DiMarco served as the evening’s host and welcomed viewers to a night filled with memorable moments, touching tributes, and awe-inspiring performances. The night’s honorees were selected by the diversity committees of their professional guilds with awards from the Casting Society of America (CSA), Producers Guild of America (PGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), and Writers Guild of America (WGA). This year’s honorees were:
- SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award: Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead, Eternals)
Presented by Joshua Jackson (Little Fires Everywhere)
- Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award: Netflix’s “Away” (Jessica Goldberg, Andrew Hinderaker, Jason Katims, Ed Zwick)
Presented by Ato Essandoh (Away, Jason Bourne)
- Media Access Documentary Award: Netflix’s “Crip Camp” (James LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham)
Presented by Andy Samberg
- Casting Society of America Award: Leah Daniels Butler (Precious, The Butler)
Presented by Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, Empire)
- Writers Guild of America West Evan Somers Memorial Award: Ramy Youssef (Ramy)
Presented by Steve Way (Ramy)
- Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship: Danny J. Gomez (New Amsterdam)
Presented by Will Reeve (Ambassador and board member for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Correspondent at ABC News)
The Media Access Awards featured special appearances from disability inclusion supporters including Selma Blair, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Howie Mandel, Eric McCormack, and more! Tap dancer and musician Evan Ruggiero opened the show with an incredible performance, and aerialist and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Alan Silva dazzled viewers with his beautiful and daring routine!
The Media Access Awards also announced the 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. It is the first list of its kind that aims to specifically identify scripts that further disability representation onscreen.