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In a new, groundbreaking video Hollywood superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joins national leader in disability inclusion, the Ruderman Family Foundation, in calling for more inclusion and opportunities for people with disabilities in the entertainment industry.
Johnson, who plays amputee Will Sawyer in his new movie “Skyscraper,” hopes his message can bring about change to an industry that has left out people with disabilities for far too long.
“Our industry has a responsibility to tell inclusive stories and I hope my character in Skyscraper is an example of that commitment. I certainly encourage the entire (entertainment) industry to take steps forward to audition and cast actors with disabilities to play characters with and without disabilities,” Johnson said in the video. “Disability is an essential piece of diversity, and our characters and actors should definitely, 100 percent reflect this”’ he insists.
“I want to thank our great partners at the Ruderman Family Foundation for their continued focus on this issue and their tireless advocacy for inclusion.”
After close dialogue between the Foundation, Universal Studios and Johnson, all sides hope the call to action by Johnson can propel others in the industry to follow by casting more actors with a disability.
This video is a sizeable momentum-builder for the issue of disability inclusion in entertainment. Approximately 20% of the population has a disability; making people with disabilities the largest minority in the U.S. Actors with disabilities represent less than 2% of the roles that we see on screen, with the entertainment industry routinely denying self-representation from this minority.
“We appreciate Dwayne Johnson’s leadership in joining the Ruderman Family Foundation and other advocates in calling on the entertainment industry to audition and cast more actors with disabilities,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “People with disabilities are twenty percent of the world’s population and their representation in popular entertainment will help reduce the stigma they face in society.”