LAUREN RIDLOFF HOSTED THE MEDIA ACCESS AWARDS PRESENTED BY EASTERSEALS
VIRTUAL EVENT WHICH CELEBRATES DISABILITY REPRESENTATION ON SCREEN HONORED SELMA BLAIR, PETER FARRELLY, DAVID ZIMMERMAN, ALLEN RUCKER, SOFIA SANCHEZ, AS WE SEE IT, LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM U.S, CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH, AND ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING
Event Featured Presentations by Eva Longoria, Rachel Zegler, Troy Kotsur, Randall Park & Cooper Raiff
LOS ANGELES, November 17, 2022 – Tonight, Tony Award-nominated star of stage and screen, and the first deaf actress to play a Marvel Superhero, Lauren Ridloff hosted the Media Access Awards, in partnership with nonprofit disability services provider Easterseals Southern California. The virtual event, which was streamed LIVE on the Emmy Award-winning entertainment and pop culture news source, ExtraTV.com honored Selma Blair, Peter Farrelly, David Zimmerman, Allen Rucker, Sofia Sanchez, As We See It, Love on the Spectrum U.S, Cha Cha Real Smooth, and Only Murders in the Building.
Founded by Norman Lear in 1979, and now spearheaded by Executive Producer Deborah Calla, and writer Allen Rucker, the Media Access Awards is an annual celebration honoring those in film and TV who include disabled characters and actors in their work, the 2022 Media Access Awards paid tribute 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.
“How did I, a deaf woman of color end up becoming an actor? Pretty much by accident. I was asked to tutor the director of the 2018 Broadway revival of Children of Lesser God and then ended up getting the lead role. I already had a degree in education and knew that acting was a dicey prospect for a deaf person, but I loved it and found joy on the stage. I decided to give it one year, and as it turns out I got lucky slaying zombies and becoming one of the fastest superheroes in the whole Marvel universe. I also realized that I could reach a lot more people and have a bigger impact as an actor. My two sons are deaf, and I knew I had a responsibility to ensure that they grew up in a world where deaf people of all kinds could be zombie killers and superheroes and a deaf woman could be strong, fearless and independent, that kept me going,” said Lauren Ridloff during the opening of the show.
The evening was filled with unforgettable moments and awe-inspiring performances by disabled talent as D.J. Demers (Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, AGT), Nic Novicki (founder of Easterseals Disability Film Challenge), Danielle Perez (Jimmy Kimmel Live!), Rex Lewis-Clack (60 Minutes) and Chin Injeti (music producer for Dr.Dre, 50 Cent and Eminem). Eva Longoria, Rachel Zegler, Troy Kotsur, Randall Park and Cooper Raiff were among the list of stars who presented the evening’s awards.
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). IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, presents the IMDbPro | Media Access Award for Excellence in Directing, building on its ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry. This year’s honorees are:
- IMDbPro | Media Access Award for Excellence in Directing: Peter Farrelly (Green Book)
- Presented by Lauren Ridloff
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Allen Rucker, CEO Media Access Awards
- Presented by Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!)
- SAG-AFTRA Disability Awareness Award: David Zimmerman (Meet the Biz)
- Presented by: Geri Jewell (Deadwood)
- SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award: Selma Blair
- Presented by Troy Kotsur, Oscar winner, CODA
- Casting Society of America Award: Cami Patton, As We See It
- Presenters: Rick Glassman, Sue Ann Pien, As We See It
- Casting Society of America Award: Angela Demo, Cha, Cha Real Smooth
- Presented by: Cooper Raiff
- Media Access Producers Guild of America George Sunga Award: Cian O’Clery, Karina Holden (Love on the Spectrum) (Netflix)
- Presenters: Cast of Love on the Spectrum
- Writers Guild of America West Evan Somers Memorial Award: John Hoffman, Only Murders in the Building
- Presented by James Caverly
- Christopher Reeve Acting Scholarship: Sofia Sanchez, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
- Presented by Rachel Zegler, Golden Glober winner, West Side Story
The 2022 Media Access Awards in partnership with Easterseals Southern California was sponsored by EXTRA TV, the exclusive broadcast partner; and by Platinum Sponsor IMDbPro.
About the Media Access Awards
As the largest minority group on the planet—and as the only minority group that anyone can join at any point of his or her life—the disability community is a robust, diverse, and integral part of our global fabric. The Media Access Awards celebrate this fact by honoring, highlighting, and promoting disability and its depictions in film, television, and new media. The Media Access Awards aim to recognize depictions of disability that are accurate, inclusive, and multi-faceted. Our awards ceremony honors those industry professionals who have advanced disability-related narrative in fields including writing, producing, casting, performance, and directing. We are proud and pleased to be at the forefront of creating and promoting opportunities for some of the brightest talents in the industry. www.mediaaccessawards.com
About Easterseals Southern California
Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. Easterseals Southern California provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 15,000 people each year—from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, daily and independent living services for adults, employment programs, veterans’ services and more. Our public education, policy and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans with disabilities today. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families and communities to be full and equal participants in society. Learn more at easterseals.com/southerncal.