For the first time, Variety will host the Inclusion Gathering, presented by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a breakfast on November 2 in Los Angeles featuring conversations that explore how the entertainment industry is developing and producing storytelling that features characters with disabilities and storylines that tie into the disability community.
The event will gather leaders in the entertainment industry to discuss how Hollywood can best advocate for the inclusion of the disabled creative community across all categories of entertainment.
Troy Kotsur, Academy Award-winning actor from best picture winner “CODA,” will participate in a keynote conversation with Variety’s senior awards editor Clayton Davis at the breakfast.
A panel titled “Disabilities in Storytelling” will include creative and executive leaders talking about how they develop and produce entertainment projects featuring characters with disabilities. Speakers include Ashley Eakin, director of Disney’s “Growing Up” and Apple TV+’s “Best Foot Forward”; Angela Kang, showrunner and executive producer of “The Walking Dead”; David Renaud, co-executive producer of “The Good Doctor”; Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, showrunner of “The Witcher”; Kaitlyn Yang, CEO and visual effects supervisor of “American Born Chinese.” Tim Gray, EVP of the Golden Globes, will moderate.
The event will also have an Actors and Creators Roundtable, which will take a look at neurodiverse and disabled creative talent in front of the camera across film, TV and video. The roundtable will feature CJ Jones, producer, director, actor, creator of “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Baby Driver”; Daryl Mitchell, actor, “Fear the Walking Dead” and “NCIS: New Orleans”; Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, actor, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” and “Give Me Liberty”; Kayla Cromer, actor, “Everything’s Gonna Be Ok”; Mark Povinelli, actor, “Nightmare Alley”; and Jamie Brewer, actor, “American Horror Story”. The roundtable will be moderated by Clayton Davis.
“Having worked persistently for nearly a decade in partnership with actors, producers, directors, network executives, and other high-profile influencers to encourage the entertainment industry to expand opportunities for people with disabilities, our foundation has been gratified to witness that in recent years, disability has started to assume its rightful place as part of Hollywood’s definition of diversity,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “At the same time, far too many gaps in opportunities for actors with disabilities do still exist, and therefore we will continue to advocate for a more equitable and inclusive landscape in entertainment.”
Conversations from the event will be published on Variety.com.
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