EVENING TO CELEBRATE DISABILITY REPRESENTATION ON SCREEN, HOSTED BY MILLICENT SIMMONDS; FEATURES APPEARANCES BY LAUREN RIDLOFF JIMMY KIMMEL, MARLEE MATLIN RUSSELL CROWE, JIM PARSONS, ZAC EFRON & MEREDITH SCOTT LYNN
LOS ANGELES, November xx, 2021 — Today, the Media Access Awards, in partnership with nonprofit disability services provider Easterseals, announced their media partnership with EXTRA, the leading entertainment newsmagazine. For the first time ever, the annual ceremony, which honors those in film and TV who include characters, actors and behind-the-camera talent with disabilities in their work, will air virtually on ExtraTV.com/MediaAccessAwards and MediaAccessAwards.com on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 6pm PT / 9pm ET with appearances by Lauren Ridloff, Jimmy Kimmel, Russell Crowe, Jim Parsons, Zac Efron, and Meredith Scott Lynn and many others.
As previously announced, Deaf advocate Millicent Simmonds, will host the show which will pay 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. This year’s honorees include John Krasinski (A Quiet Place II), Selma Blair (Introducing Selma Blair), Keah Brown (Activist, author, journalist, and creator of the hashtag #DisabledAndCute), Marlee Matlin (CODA, Troy Kotsur (CODA), Zeno Mountain Farm, Andrea Warren (Luca), Deborah Aquila, Lisa Zagoria, Tricia Wood (CODA), Ryan O’Connell (SPECIAL), and Jamie Nieto (Two-time Olympic high jumper).
“We are excited to partner with Extra who will introduce the outstanding Media Access Awards show to an even larger audience. This partnership will bring more awareness about the importance of disability inclusion and representation while celebrating those who are moving the entertainment industry forward,” said Mark Whitley, CEO, Easterseals Southern California.
“The Media Access Awards have been hailed as the premier showcase for the celebration of disability-centered stories and disabled performers in Hollywood for years. With Extra’s involvement, we can now reach a much bigger national audience. We are thrilled.” said Deborah Calla and Allen Rucker, CEO’s of the Media Access Awards.”
Honorees are 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, will present the first ever IMDbPro | Media Access Award for Excellence in Directing, honoring a groundbreaking, creative luminary whose directorial career has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry and exemplifies their commitment to inclusion for the disability community.
“We are proud to be the first media partner to provide a streaming platform for the Media Access Awards on Extratv.com as we celebrate and honor representation and inclusion within the disability community,” said “Extra” senior executive producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey and executive producers Theresa Coffino and Jeremy Spiegel.
Viewers will be treated to an incredible performance by Rex & Friends, a group of autistic and blind musicians and singers led by Rex Lewis Clack, a musical savant who has been profiled on CBS’s 60 minutes, and by Kinetic Light Company, which creates and performs at the intersections of disability, dance, and race.
The 2021 Media Access Awards in partnership with Easterseals are sponsored by Platinum Sponsors IMDbPro and Friends producer Kevin Bright; Gold Sponsors ViacomCBS, Comcast, and NBCUniversal; and Silver Sponsors Bunim/Murray, Sony Pictures, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Women of Her Word, Legendary Films, and Disney General Entertainment Services. The show is a Calla Productions, executive produced by Deborah Calla and written by Allen Rucker.