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The Ruderman Family Foundation will present the award in recognition of the renowned filmmakers’ advocacy for more inclusive and authentic representation of people with disabilities in Hollywood
Boston, MA — The Ruderman Family Foundation, an international leader in disability inclusion, is proud to announce acclaimed filmmakers Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly as the recipients of its Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion in recognition of their advocacy for the inclusive and authentic representation of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry. They will be presented with the award during a Spring 2020 ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.
The Farrelly brothers have been outspoken in lamenting Hollywood’s missed opportunity on casting actors from the largely untapped talent pool of people with disabilities, at a time when the Ruderman Family Foundation’s research shows that 95 percent of top show characters with disabilities on TV are played by actors without disabilities. They have also consistently articulated how Hollywood’s portrayal of people with disabilities perpetuates misconceptions and stereotypes about the disability community, while displaying great leadership by authentically casting actors with disabilities in their films.
“Despite its immense potential for leadership in inclusion, social justice and civil rights, Hollywood has for far too long left disability out of the conversation about diversity. But changemakers like the Farrelly brothers are indispensable players in efforts to shift the conversation,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “With the growing influence of allies like Peter and Bobby Farrelly who share our commitment to more inclusive and authentic representation of people with disabilities, there is no limit to what Hollywood can achieve as a paradigm for greater inclusion in all of society.”
In 2018, Peter Farrelly co-wrote and directed the comedy-drama Green Book which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and earned the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The Farrelly brothers have also been the screenwriters and directors for a wide range of famed motion pictures, including Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Hall Pass, Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You, Osmosis Jones, There’s Something About Mary, Fever Pitch, The Heartbreak Kid, The Three Stooges and Dumb and Dumber To.
In their taped response, the Farrelly brothers said “The reason we include people with disabilities in our movies is not to make a statement but to tell the truth. When we started making movies, we decided to include people with disabilities in the stories we tell because they are a part of our lives and it’s not a real world if it does not include everybody. We are honored to receive the 2019 Morton E. Ruderman award. For us to be associated with the work of the Ruderman Family Foundation is a great honor and we thank them for their tireless work to create a more inclusive society.”
The award, now in its sixth year, was named after Morton E. Ruderman, a founder of the Ruderman Family Foundation. A successful entrepreneur, mentor and proud family man, he saw his success as the result of help he received from others and was therefore passionate about providing opportunities for others — including assisting many people in becoming independent and successful in business. In previous years, the award has gone to advocates from several societal sectors, including decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, the driving force behind the Americans with Disability Act and United States Senator Tom Harkin, disability self-advocate Ari Ne’eman and Harvard Professor Dr. Michael Stein.
For more information on the award, please visit: www.rudermanfoundation.org
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About the Ruderman Family Foundation
The Ruderman Family Foundation is an internationally recognized organization, which advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. The Foundation supports effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy in advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout America and around the world.
The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing community and promotes these values through its leadership and funding.