All posts by yogi1964

Looking Forward in 2012!

Happy New Year – it is now 2012 and I am really glad for it! While every year brings new hope and promise, last year started well for me, but had a very unexpected turn. For those who do not follow me or my Abilities United Productions’ page on Facebook, on March 8, 2011, just as I was about an hour away from finishing my short film, “Too Different For Who”? I stopped my editing at about 4:00 a.m. and went to sleep. I woke up about 11:00 a.m. and not realizing it for the next 2 hours (primarily because I lived alone and did not have any phone calls or other interactions with people during that time) I found out I was having a stroke! I was then admitted into the hospital and then into the stroke rehab facility where I spent 3 weeks before returning home. I have been a paraplegic for nearly 16 years at that time and only 46 years of age, so a stroke, which I thought only happened to much older folk in retirement age, was far from my mind of happening – but it did. The good news is that I have recovered the right side paralysis and most of my speech as a result from the stroke. Of course I am still a T-7 complete paraplegic from the Spinal Cord injury I survived back on April 1, 1995, which when the stroke took away the right side of the 40% of able bodied functions that I had on the top half of my body (that was the part left alone from the SCI accident and paralysis) – I was truly relieved when I got that right side part of my function back during my stroke rehab! Taking away half of a half is a real attention getter! And I am still a filmmaker – loving the storytelling on film as a writer, director, producer, and as the businessman, the founder and president of my own independent motion picture production company, Abilities United Productions, as well as an advocate for the fair and equal rights of paraplegics and others with a disAbility in the entertainment industry.


As soon as I got out of the rehab hospital and returned home, I finished the short film – of which I was real glad I had already finished the narration before the stroke, and published it on my home page as well as on YouTube and Facebook. I had some in-home rehab which is normal care for a stroke survivor, but drew extra attention from my hospital doctors and therapists because as a independent person who already lived with challenges as a paraplegic, I was also one who preferred living alone.  So with physical occupational, and speech therapists and a medical nurse visiting me regularly, I completed the in-home rehab and they recommended out patient rehab.


In addition to all of that going all – I had a deep desire to once again join up with the “Life Rolls On” foundation’s flagship program “They Will Surf Again” for the second time in my life, when they kicked off the 2011 Season with an event in Huntington Beach, CA, my most beloved home town in SoCal. That was very exciting even though there was a rather unconventional and strange weather storm that hit the area the night before which nearly threatened the event itself, the next morning – the storm had cleared, but the tides were rough causing the surf to be choppy that morning and afternoon of April 9, 2011. And they remained a bit rough when my turn finally came up and so my first run on the surf board riding the wave actually crashed upon me big time. Can you say, “Wipeout”?


I seriously flipped from my feet over my head and the surfboard as the wave engulfed me and I went completely underwater. It was a serious wipeout but I kept my head and was confident that I would float back up to the surface of the water, as my friend, John had testified to later. I was glad he and the many volunteers of the event were right there to help me recover and despite the extreme pain from the wipeout that I felt on my left side rib cage, I was able to manage to get back out there for another wave! I didn’t confess to the pain because I feared I would not get another chance to ride another wave – because even though it was choppy – this was surfing, and not just surfing, it was surfing in Huntington Beach, California! So even though this event and day wasn’t as good as it was my first time joining the “They Will Surf Again” program in La Jolla, CA, the year before, which also landed exactly on my birthday, September 11, 2010,

Riding it in! (2)

and despite this event in 2011 was taking place so early after my stroke (shhh, it was only 10 days after I was released from the rehab hospital) but this was…

Huntington Pier, by Woody Woodworth

Huntington Beach – again not only my favorite home town from the past, with many fond memories and where I had surfed many times before (although it was years ago and before my SCI paralysis), it was also the only time the “They Will Surf Again” program was going to be in Huntington Beach for the 2011 season, and this is where both professional and amateur surfers and the city of Huntington Beach, righteously nicknamed it, “Surf City”

index_logo1 (2)

– which is the long time home of the U.S. Open Surfing Championship, where surfers from around the world come to compete,





and all together made this a huge event in my mind and especially in my heart! This was still a very special surfing event for me! And can now, I can cross that wish, that dream, that I thought was nearly impossible of happening since becoming a paraplegic – off my list!


I have and continue to thank all of those at the “Life Roll’s On” foundation, and the entire “They Will Surf Again” program with its great volunteers and supporters of the program (individuals and companies that have donated products and services to make this event happen for so many) and of course my dear friend, who is like a brother, John Narvaez, along with his wife, Joelle, and young son, Jack, for not only supporting my choice to attend this against the odds and some would argue common sense (something that I often hold in high esteem), but for coming out to the event and being there to share the moments as well as being my solid support, a mental security, a peace of mind, just in case anything happened during the event that might have been related to the recent stroke I had (which I was very reluctant to share with many people at the event in case it would disqualify me from participating as a surfer that day)

Johns Patio - chillin with cold ones - 01 (2)

Having John there was very important to me as I had recently learned how very challenging it is when you cannot think properly or communicate what you need or feel – a surreal lesson from the stroke! Learn from your challenges otherwise they will only serve as a bitter disappointment rather than way to improve yourself. So my deep thanks to everyone, as I gave and continue to give a lot of love and appreciation for that day, the entire event, and the now cherished memories that brings a smile to my face every time I think about it!


After that event and special opportunity for me, my life also rolled on! I continued with the stroke rehab, and with some very personal reflections that included re-examining what is important in this life and the common sense Pros & Cons of getting older, which is exponentially faster as a paraplegic and now also as a stroke survivor, I carefully considered and ultimately decided that it was best to follow a new opportunity that meant moving in with my sister, Renee and her wonderful kids who were about to move to Logan, Utah, where I had lived for a couple years just prior to my much anticipated return to my home of SoCal where I grew up! It was a difficult decision since it meant giving up my much coveted living arrangement of solitude and it meant leaving my beloved SoCal, but like most of life’s hard decisions – there is both good and bad that goes along with it! And despite what I had to give up, I did gain a lot – I love my sister and her kids, so being with them and sharing with them every day, along with the comfort of knowing that if I were to have another health challenge – which I am now at a higher risk of having, including the standard 30% chance of having another stroke, plus the additional challenges that I don’t normally talk about but are mostly related to my 16 years as a paraplegic – I feel that this is a great choice!


Therefore, in June of 2011, with help of my family, I moved to Logan, Utah. I immediately had separation anxiety from leaving my home in SoCal, and had the additional challenges of getting all of my healthcare insurance and doctors and prescriptions switched to a new out-of-state location, along with shrinking my stuff into and sharing a living space with 4 people, has taken some getting used to but I am happy! Plus my brother, Travis and his family whom I also love and who also lives in Logan, Utah has been of great comfort!

The Fam 2

Meanwhile, I have also continued my self directed rehab of speech therapy to hopefully, eventually recover 100% from the stroke. I am getting there but still have some challenges with finding the words at times and then speaking them, all of which in itself is a bit difficult for a guy who is known for talking a LOT as everyone who even knows me slightly will attest that I am that guy!


Nonetheless, I have done what was best, and unfortunately, this is also why I apologize that I have not blogged except for once during this past year, back in January 2011. That is a big difference from my usual multiple blog posts every month as it was in 2010 and the years proceeding – since I started blogging back in 2006. Not that I think a lot of people read this blog – for many reasons – maybe the content, maybe that it is not on a blogging website and instead is part of my own website – but this is where I am today and for the past 12 months!


This brings me to this Happy New Year of 2012! And I can assure you that I am keeping the faith, hope and promise of an authentic representation for paraplegics and others with a disAbility in American entertainment alive for another year. I do use the common phrase of learning and cherishing the past, living for today, and dreaming of tomorrow, throughout my life but especially at this time of the New Year! So I hope the best for everyone this year and hopefully – even if Hollywood does not change how they operate their portrayals and representation of the images of paras and others with a disAbility in movies and television – I do hope that they will stop repressing those of us that want to provide a solution to the common and often accepted practices of discrimination, and stereotypes, the barriers of attitude toward people with mobility disAbilities and provide us with a fair and equal opportunity to represent ourselves just as all other minorities are given in Hollywood! So, come on Hollywood – let’s all have a truly inclusive industry and live up to the promise that you yourselves proclaim as a proud part of your foundation – that every one has the right to represent themselves in today’s entertainment industry – on both sides of the camera! Let’s all have a great 2012!


Reaching Out To Hollywood

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, does it make a sound?


If the stigma, physical & attitudinal barriers, discrimination, accepted standard practices in the entertainment biz consciously and/or unconsciously repress the voices, visions, and representation, and unfairly keeps those with a disAbility in a box and primarily only using able bodied majority to represent paraplegics and others with a noticeable disAbility AND nobody sees it or cares when it happens – does it matter?


“I have never seen anybody discriminated at work in Hollywood and therefore doubt it happens.”


Many in Hollywood do not see the how paraplegics are treated within their own industry – while they are at work – while some may see what is on the surface, as most in Hollywood will “say” the right things, and some will even make proper efforts when a paraplegic in a wheelchair comes though the doors – but the truth is there is a lot of this that never gets seen – and especially to those who are no longer struggling to make a career in this business! Everything from the “parking lot auditions” to just skipping the audition process altogether – even when the character is specifically written as a paraplegic, keeps us out of the business and out of Hollywood sight! Cannot see us being discriminated against when we are not allowed on the set!


One of the results, the impact that limited – very limited portrays of paraplegics and people with a disAbility in general (1% in American television) is exponentially worsened by the fact that the “industry” practices – the standard which is widely accepted – is to dismiss, ignore, discriminate, and stereotype PEOPLE with a disAbility and that is especially manifested in the Hollywood creative roles – the writers, directors, and actors of these very limited portrayals are nearly always represented by able bodied people who have no idea what it is like to be a paraplegic or person with a disAbility. I am not an actor but I could watch previous movies and television shows, read books, speak to actual people, consult with a person on the set, and prepare an in depth character study of an inner city racial minority, and then with the help of the make-up department I could portray a single black father trying to raise his kids up to overcome adversity, grow from challenges, and basically do the right things! And not in some comedic role for a comedic movie like “Tropic Thunder” or in reverse, as black men dressed and with make up become “White Chicks”, but for a serious, dramatic role. Nobody would have a problem with that, right? Sure, I would probably not get the endorsement of the NAACP but there is not much difference in “pretending”, “faking”, or “acting” as a person from a minority group that I do not belong to – Yes there are certain lines we do not cross in our Hollywoodland of make believe and I so desire that it would include the life and challenges of a people with paraplegia.


These very limited portrayals, that nearly always use able bodied to represent people with disAbilities, affects the entire community of 56+ million Americans with a disAbility – that is 20% of the American population to never have any significant authentic representation in our entertainment culture.


And of course it affects those people with a disAbility who have Hollywood dreams, hopes, passions, training, education for working in this industry – in the creative roles of this industry – as actors, writers, directors – and outside the little box that when Hollywood says it is okay to portray a person with a disAbility then they will in the acceptable roles of a documentary film about some inspirational person with a disAbility, in the background or some other supporting and token role – BUT instead, I propose something outside the box and in mainstream movies and television – AND in non-stereotypical characters and stories – and again I do more than talk about what “should be” and actual produce it, provide it such as in my screenplay and mainstream feature film project “London Time”. Yes this is a plug for my work as an authentic voice and vision, and is a PRIME EXAMPLE of having a mainstream movie with authentic representation.


  • What would this mean to have our own voice, our own vision, our own performance, our own representation of a paraplegic character, a paraplegic leading man, a movie hero of our own that is not in some crazy fantasy world, but in the portrayal and story set in our own reality?


  • What would this kind of authentic representation – and real inclusion – in a mainstream movie that gets the attention of more than just some small indie film with television advertisement only in the markets it will be shown in – the local art house in Los Angeles, New York, and maybe a couple of other large cities in America – what would that mean to the entire minority community of the 56+ million Americans with a disAbility?


  • What would this kind of authentic representation and real inclusion mean to the entire community of people with a disAbility trying to work in this industry despite the past and even current Hollywood environment toward people with a disAbility?


  • And to others now and in the future within the disAbled community to suddenly have real examples working in and obtaining their Hollywood dreams despite the opposition?


  • And finally what impact do you think this kind of mainstream movie and television portrayals using authentic people with a disAbility in these creative roles of writers, directors, and actors actually representing the characters created with a disAbility – with the same weight and importance in the production budget and marketing support that other mainstream movies have – on our culture and on our society in general – how will they then view, treat, and interact with paraplegics and others with a disAbility – when we are included as part of the American scene in movies and television?


I know as I am a PARAPLEGIC with a passion for storytelling on film – to be a mainstream filmmaker – a movie maker who provides this authentic representation. I have been at it for the past 15 years and tried every route possible and in many of them, such as in the business proposals and business plans for my production company, Abilities United Productions ( and film projects like “London Time”, “Glacial Breeze” and others, I have often touted that A-List Hollywood players and makers would be a key to helping us provide this type of authentic representation, because they know how difficult it is to make a career in this industry, the struggles of trying to make it – but especially when they were presented with the facts and reality that paraplegics and others with a disAbility have the same challenges of making it in this business PLUS the incredible barriers of attitude, prejudices, stigma, and discrimination against us just to SELF REPRESENT in movies and television.

But my many attempts at contacting and getting the help of the A-List Hollywood Players and Makers have not turned out the way I thought it would. Why? Are they too afraid of the “industry system” that portrays paraplegics and people with a disAbility in a set little box? Do they not think this is problem? Do they not care? I don’t know.




Just because we look different does not mean we feel different! We may not all have the gorgeous movie star looks of George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, or Scarlett Johansson, but many working and even those who are movie stars in Hollywood do not! There are many with a disAbility who are very attractive and some that even have the gorgeous movie star looks, but we are just as diverse as the Hollywood crowd and the American society in general.

Those of us with a disAbility have the same desires to be recognized and included in the group as our able bodied counterparts! And I really feel that the power of influence that movies and television has on our culture, which in turn influences the opinions and reactions of our society – as proven with other people, issues, politics, civil rights, human rights, minorities, should also include paraplegics and others with a disAbility.


So I am reaching out again to the many within the system – those that have some clout, some pull, some celebrity power to help make a change – and ask that they give the same commitment they give to help others who are repressed and unjustly treated in other industries, in other situations, and other locations around the world – to those of us looking for a fair and equal opportunity to be part of the group – and not be singled out because we are different. Not to only be included on paper – in the script – written, directed, and performed by able bodied people. Let us be – help us be – part of mainstream Hollywood entertainment! Who is with us?

Hollywood’s Industry Versus Individuals

“That’s a fact, Jack!” – Although any “industry” is made up of the people who work within it – the “system” is a set way of doing business and the people within that system are often relegated to remain conducting themselves within the guidelines of that system. But are they one and the same? Do the individuals within the industry feel the same way and/or are simply fine with the way the business is run? Do they ever speak out if the injustices that are blatantly being practiced within the system are offensive? Even if the injustices do not apply to them directly? That is the question I keep asking myself about the Hollywood “industry” and its system of business, and the “individuals” that work and prosper in the business, and even have the power of directly or indirectly changing the injustices within that system – will any of the businesses, organizations, programs, or individuals stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves?  

The Hollywood “Industry”

It is obvious to anyone who will spend a little time really looking at the Hollywood system of business and the common practices within the business, or will pay but a slight attention to my blog, website, or creative work, that Hollywood is an “industry” that blatantly discriminates against those with a disAbility. And thanks to the television series “Glee” episode 9: “Wheels”, from the first season, we finally know that they know it is offensive to those with a disAbility to fake having a disAbility. But because they used an actor who is faking that he is a “paraplegic” character who is the offended person that another character faked having a disAbility, it seems okay to preach about how offensive it is even if they do not practice what they preach! So, does “acting” like a person with a disAbility become exempt from the definition of “faking” a disAbility? Where is the line drawn between acting and faking, between acceptable and unacceptable, between offensive and inoffensive?


And regardless of how the “industry” feels about this issue – does it really matter if it is faking or not? And if it is not offensive to the masses does it really matter who is offended? It does to those that live with a disAbility and especially to those with a disAbility that have the ability, the training, the passion to be an actor, writer, or director and do so without faking the disAbility! And even if the able bodied population does not care who plays the paraplegic – does it matter if those who are paraplegics care who portrays and represents them in the very limited movies and television programs that feature a paraplegic character? This goes well beyond merely caring about or the popularity of a particular actor who is playing the part, but goes deep into who is portraying and representing the minority status of a character.

I have tried to explain how important this factor is before and because I think it is where most people are either unaware or simply do not care, and addresses the line between “acting” and “faking” I will attempt it once again! There are certain “identity factors” that we now consider as “faking” no matter how good the “acting” is and have become unacceptable except for certain circumstances more prominently for comedic effect that we do not “fake” or “act” a gender, race, or age group. These are important identity factors to an individual person and the group of people they represent. For instance, a man does not play the part of a woman, unless it is for a plot reason and the audience is in on it such as in “Mrs. Doubtfire”, or “Tootise”. Nor does a white person portray a black character unless it is for a specific reason that the character is “faking” such as in “Tropic Thunder”. And also it is not appropriate to have a teenage actor portray a person going through a middle age crisis or as a retired person living their golden years unless it part of the plot like in “Freaky Friday” or “Like Father and Like Son”. Although there were times in the entertainment “industry” that these were acceptable portrayals – because women were not allowed on the stage, and at the beginning of the “motion picture business” blacks were not allowed on the stage or in front of the camera and therefore it was acceptable for Al Jolson to portray a black character and sing black folk songs while wearing a black face to portray being a black person.

There are some factors – like those that go toward a person’s identity – that you do not “act” and you do not “fake”!  

Now the question is whether being a paraplegic or having any ADA defined disAbility is a worthy identity factor?

Well since the majority of the time people with paraplegia are often referred to as a “handicapped person” or even as I prefer as a “person with a disAbility” the language is part evidence that it is often an identity factor in who I am. And the visual elements that I cannot hide or be in the closet for since my disAbility as a paraplegic is very obvious – using a wheelchair! This also presents the social aspects in which many “wheelers” find themselves in most of the time – where able bodied people will “talk down” to us. This is partly because of the physical need for a standing person to look down to address a person sitting in a wheelchair and that sometimes cause the subconscious to speak down to the person as well. Not to mention that in our society it is often presumed that a person with a significant disAbility is not a whole person – is less of a person and that is manifested in the way a person often communicates with a wheeler. I have 15 years experience as a paraplegic and this is not only my perceptions but research on the disabled that I have read.

We can also look at the legal aspects of this disAbility identity factor. When we look at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and its federal authority to enforce laws against workplace discrimination we find that the categories that are protected against discrimination of an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, and disAbility are commonly accepted “identity factors”. Yet even with decades of the good the EEOC has done in maintaining fair and equal employment opportunities for Americans in these most often discriminated categories – it seems it looks past Hollywood’s discrimination practices. I suspect that this is because of the legal loophole of having “dramatic and artistic license” to do whatever they want! And legally or morally the “industry” has corrected itself in its former discrimination against most of the EEOC categories such as for gender, race, color, as described above – and yet continues to disregard the category of those with a disAbility! This is especially true in the creative roles of writer, directors, actors who are paraplegics or have another significant disAbility.    

Look at it on a human level.

Try and imagine how it would feel for the nearly 6 million Americans (and millions upon millions more globally) who live with paraplegia, or another mobility disAbility to see upon the screen one of the few Hollywood paraplegic characters being portrayed by an actor who is a paraplegic! That would be incredibly empowering especially if it is in a non-stereotypical portrayal and in a mainstream movie or television program – not some documentary or Hallmark inspirational story!


One where the character and story is not all about having a disAbility but is also not ignored – one like the feature film project “London Time” with the title character, Detective London, a homicide police detective and Dirty Harry type character who happens to be a paraplegic!

The Hollywood “industry” has made it clear they are not interested in changing the limited portrayals and misrepresentation of people with a disAbility as is evidenced in:

  • The history of movies and television programs produced that feature a character with a disAbility.
  • Through the experiences of thousands of people with a disAbility trying to work in this “industry”.
  • The first “industry” report on performers with a disAbility (commissioned & then published by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) over 5 years ago) showing that discrimination of performers with disAbilities in the entertainment industry – and the continuing efforts by SAG, who report that through a 2009  Casting Report proving these issues are still be ignored by the industry, stating that “this protected category continues to be left out. Fifty-six million Americans — 20% of the U.S.population — have a disability. Despite being the largest minority group in the country, people with disabilities remain virtually invisible in entertainment media.”
  • A new report (and the only additional one, from the SAG report mentioned above, about the “industry” to also include those with a disAbility) published by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in their annual “Where We Are on TV” report for the 2010-2011 television season included for the first time, people with disAbilities among the categories to be included in the study of television series regular characters portrayed. It showed that “only six series regular characters on the broadcast networks, or 1%, are scheduled to appear in the upcoming season are people with disabilities.”

Those are the facts, experiences, and a fairly good look at the “big picture” for paraplegics and others with a disAbility being portrayed as part of the American scene – which is mostly being ignored and excluded from movies and television – but when we are seemingly reluctantly included in a movie or television program, the over whelming majority of those limited portrayals are done by able bodied – well intentioned, but still able bodied actors, writers, and directors – denying, repressing, and/or discriminating against self representation of the paraplegic people, for the paraplegic people, and by the paraplegic people!

The Hollywood “Individuals”

That is the Hollywood industry so what about those that make up the industry – the individuals? Will any dare to stand up for those who cannot stand up? Many will and do stand up for “cases” all around the world – but what about a “cause” that is in their own backyard, their own workplace?

Over the many years that I have been trying to get my work produced and raise awareness to this “cause” – or at least raise the awareness of how important it is to those of us who are paraplegics or have a disAbility in general – to the disAbled community in general and to those trying to work within the industry – I have tried every possible route to get help – from the traditional avenues, to the emerging and non-traditional routes in business, in show business, and even with the disAbled community. On occasion I have attempted to contact individuals that work within the “industry” to help me either raise the awareness of being given a fair and equal opportunity within the industry, or to help me get my work produced to show everyone what “doing the right thing” would mean socially and commercially when dealing with the portrayal and representation of paraplegics and those with a disAbility!

In 2006 and 2007 I spent considerable effort in contacting those individuals in the “biz” to do one or the other in helping me help millions of people finally have an authentic voice, vision, and representation in movies and television. I created an Excel database of Hollywood individuals and companies with contact info, when and how I contacted them and if there were any responses as they happened. This database of mine has well over 100 people whom I felt had the power, knowledge, experience, the heart from either being directly or indirectly connected to a person with a disAbility, or plainly would care enough that as soon as they were presented with the evidence of the discrimination and practices of the “industry” would gladly want to help us correct the years of injustice and provide a brighter and a real inclusive future for those with a disAbility. Despite repeated attempts with several of these individuals and always in a professional manner – I got less than 10 responses. Unfortunately, they all basically said that they thought I was doing a great thing, a wonderful job with a noble cause but none went beyond that and wishing me “good luck”! While I really appreciated any response it was very frustrating that there were so few of them and that none felt they wanted to “dirty” their hands with something they probably felt would go against the “industry” that they worked in.

Since then I have continued to do my work as both a filmmaker and an advocate for disAbility rights in Hollywood. And I have found that many of these individuals do not see any discrimination and therefore think it doesn’t exist! Yet not seeing it should be evidence that it does exist! Hollywood – the industry – has successfully kept us out of being portrayed and certainly out of any of the creative roles in the limited portrayals of paraplegics in movies and television. I am going to make another campaign of pleading to Hollywood individuals and although I am not Santa Claus – I am making a list and checking it twice to find who is naughty and who is nice to our cause!

The question is: should I publish this list – here on my blog or on my website? Maybe this way others – within and outside the disAbled community – will see who in Hollywood, who with the power and ability to help, will care and who doesn’t care about how we are portrayed and misrepresented. And maybe this will cause some to be more apt to help this “cause”? OR this could cause me to be blacklisted as some horrible person trying to make those who do not respond or help as “bad” people and further hurt my chances (on top of being a paraplegic in this industry) at being a mainstream moviemaker who happens to feature paraplegic characters. Will this help or hurt this cause of being the authentic voice and vision and determined to hire paraplegic actors in the roles of my paraplegic characters and therefore providing a completely authentic representation of paraplegics in Hollywood’s mainstream movies and television?!

(Career) Suicide Is Painless — & Could Be Successful

Well since there are very few options I have not tried in the past 15 years – this may or may not be a career suicide move – but I am at the end of my rope any way so do or die and if it is a suicide move it would be painful for me but maybe those in Hollywood – the industry and the individuals that make it work – will finally take notice and give paraplegics and those with a disAbility more than a passing glance or nod when it comes to being truly included in mainstream movies and television. I have been dedicated to this work and “cause” for so long now that anything that will bring a brighter future in the authentic portrayal and representation of paraplegics in Hollywood will be a success. 

Superhero in Superman

I originally began writing a new blog entry last week that spoke of Christopher Reeve and how he was an inspiration to millions of people in both words and action – and that along with that he also inspired others to become heroes – which I believe is what made him a real Superhero! While I was writing it, I knew that it really needy a more permanent home because in telling why I felt he was a Superhero to me personally, I had to document my life since my accident that caused me to become a paraplegic and how my life and that of Christopher Reeve’s intertwined even though we never met in person!

Superhero in Superman

So instead of a blog entry, I put it on its own page on the website: There is a link to it from the home page too! And as usual, it is a little long – not unlike many of the entries here on the blog and it is like reading a newspaper article but with a lot more photos and links! And even a beautiful video – if you make it to the end! All in all – it is my story, my life which of course encompasses my work (I know I really need to get a life outside of this cause, mission and my passion for filmmaking) how Christopher Reeve still inspires me to stay true to myself and my work because of the huge impact it will have for million of others with a disAbility, and how his life impacted mine even though we never got a chance to meet face to face! Enjoy!

Business of Hollywood

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy the answer to the FAQ – What is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is:


Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The Office of Disability Employment Policy has the lead in planning NDEAM activities and materials to increase the public’s awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. Various programs carried out throughout the month also highlight the specific employment barriers that still need to be addressed and removed.

This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted alaw declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”


Of course I have to look, more often search diligently and hope to find decent examples of this in my industry of entertainment which seems to find it okay to employ those with a disAbility only when absolutely necessary and if they have a concern about the ADA or the EEOC then they will employ those with a disAbility in backroom positions and rarely if ever in any of the creative positions that make this industry what it is – the very product that the public buys – and would be ideal to their own image if the diversity and inclusion actually included more of those with a disAbility being portrayed and if they would not fake the representation of the largest and fastest growing minority in America!

To run a recent time line, I have to mention, again, the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) industry report published in May 2005, “The EMPLOYMENT of PERFORMERS WITH DISABILITIES in the Entertainment Industry.” It really was a scathing report that detailed the discrimination of those with a disAbility in the entertainment industry and how if the actors with a disAbility could they would hide their disability as much as possible – and if hired the performers were so afraid to ask for even minimal accommodations fo fear of being seen as weak or being fired – from one of the wealthiest industries in the world – and on top of the details of this report the authors, Dr. Olivia Raynor and Dr. Katherine Hayward from UCLA and the National Arts and Disability Center gave several recommendations that were easy for the industry to implement and make the business more inclusive for those with a disAbility – very little has changed in Hollywood!

During this month in 2008 the actor’s guilds came together and announced a new campaign to raise awareness and encourage inclusion of the entertainment industry with the Inclusion in the Arts and Media for Performers With Disabilities (I.AM. PWD) I was excited about having the backing of 3 huge industry unions working and supporting the inclusion of actors with a disAbility to be more accepted in the movies and television productions. I am not an actor, but because one of the excuses Hollywood uses when confronted on why there isn’t more portrayals of those with disAbilities – is that there isn’t the material written that includes those with a disAbility. I have heard that from actors and even those who are members of the unions’ Performers with Disabilities Committees – so it seems logical that I would fit right in – as a provider of material – and even better than just a writer who includes a character with a disAbility – I am a person with a disAbility AND writing featured roles in authentic, non-stereotypical characters and stories and if that wasn’t enough I am the complete behind the camera package – I am also a director with a disAbility and therefore a filmmaker providing an authentic voice and vision of and for those with a disAbility! The exact material that the industry says it requires to hire performers with a disAbility so surely this new I.AM.PWD campaign would want to partner with someone like yours truly? Well, I was so excited when I found out about this new campaign during the month it was announced – October 2008, that even while I was in the hospital, I wrote a short film screenplay, “Un-Working Class” that dramatizes the struggles of actors with a disAbility and in a creative transition it ends with a plea to the industry to give us a chance and see what we can do and will provide. I thought this would be a great campaign commercial – so to speak – but it seems they were not interested as I never heard back. But they were a new organization at the time and not nearly as put together as they are now – and therefore back then the best I was able to do was to bring it up with an actor I knew was involved as a PWD who said he would bring it up with whoever was in charge – but I never heard back from either the actor or anyone from I AM PWD! So now that they are a lot more organized (check out ) maybe I  should try again! Although they seem to be focused on talking about the issues and hoping Hollywood changes rather than taking some real action like making a film with me that shows everyone what it is like for those of us with a disAbility in the entertainment industry and how it could and should be in reality. To each their own – I will continue to do my work and when the time comes many of them will line up and ask me for a job!

In October 2009, SAG published a follow up about people with disAbilities being portrayed in Hollywood and despite their efforts the “Latest Casting Data Follows Historical Trends and Continues to Exclude People with Disabilities” The report stated:

Despite years of bargaining with producers to include the hiring of performers with a disability in Casting Data Reports, this protected category continues to be left out. Fifty-six million Americans — 20% of the U.S.population — have a disability. Despite being the largest minority group in the country, people with disabilities remain virtually invisible in entertainment media

So despite the huge union power of SAG and their years of bargaining with producers – the producers of the television hit show “Glee”, of the largest box office success “Avatar” and the upcoming prequel “X-Men:First Class” they discriminated against the largest minority in the country by hiring able bodied actors to fake being a paraplegic for characters specifically written as characters with paraplegia.

On July 26, 2010, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act – the most comprehensive civil rights law ever enacted to protect those with a disAbility, President Obama broadcasted a Public Service Announcement, issued a Proclamation that ” we renew our commitment to ensuring that everyone with disabilities can live free from the weight of discrimination and pursue the American dream”, and in keeping with a 2008 Presidential campaign promise also signed an Executive Order that would make the federal government a model for the private sector in the hiring of those with a disAbility. And now in October 2010, President Obama is reiterating the importance of real inclusion and his commitment to those with a disAbility during this “National Disability Employment Awareness Month”! Come on Hollywood – if you will not listen to me, won’t you listen to President Obama?

He spoke of those of us having the right to live free of discrimination and pursue the American dream regardless of our disAbility. Yet in Hollywood it is practically insane for anyone with a disAbility to dream of having a career – if I am not telling the truth, where are the Hollywood examples with disAbilities? Despite years of experiencing first hand the discrimination and stereotyping that is common practice in Hollywood, I still have an American dream of being a filmmaker and of breaking Hollywood stereotypes of paraplegics and provide authentic voices, visions, and performances of paraplegics and others with a disAbility that can also represent themselves in movies and television. Changing Hollywood for a better future that gives us the respect of being treated as being just as important as they treat other minorities – especially racial minorities considering that our disAbility is as much of a factor in our identity as our race, gender and age.

The entertainment industry is a part of the business community and should be held to the same standards and laws about having a fair and equal employment opportunities for all minorities, including those with a disAbility who make up 20% of the American population. So why do they continue to get away with discriminating against paraplegics and others with a disAbility?

Is all of the above not enough to get the entertainment industry to do the right thing for those with a disAbility? And I used to wonder if they even knew how wrong and offensive they were in their portraying and representing people with a disAbility by having able bodied actors, writers, directors faking that they know what it is like to live with a disAbility – which I found out last year in the very television program that is the only one currently portraying a paraplegic, “Glee” where they showed that their paraplegic character was offended that another classmate was faking her disAbility. So they clearly do know this is wrong and offensive – if not to them at least to paraplegics and people with a disAbility! Not that it matters that much to them because even though they are very correct in this portrayal – we are offended by anyone faking a disAbility – even in movies and television with a very few exceptions – yet they hire – EMPLOYED an able bodied actor to fake being a paraplegic. I guess it is like the old saying – do what I say not as I do!

So what is the next step? Get the above mentioned – the Department of Labor, the actors’ unions, the President of the United States and others to the Supreme Court and make it a law to include those with a disAbility in all departments of the entertainment industry and not just teh accounting department – make a new affirmative action law that will finally give us the fair and equal opportunities to finally be included in movies and television and to be able to represent ourselves?

Well this year’s “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” campaign has a poster that should speak to Hollywood. I can only hope because as a filmmaker, a screenwriter, director, producer, and paraplegic, I have been told that I do have talent! But unfortunately, Hollywood does have the boundaries – and plenty of them when it comes to those with a disAbility. If not then I wouldn’t still, after 15 years, be fighting and spending time telling you about the barriers of attitude that is all over Hollywood – and instead I would have already made “London Time”, “Forever Yours”, “Sunrise Surf” and other feature films but instead because of the Hollywood barriers they are still in the “project” phase! And other paraplegic filmmakers and others with different disAbilities would be filmmakers representing their disAbility and if there were none of these Hollywood boundaries that I speak of, the SAG speaks of,  then paraplegics and others with a disAbility would be  having the same human respect of being recognized as members of society as other minorities and our able bodied counterparts have in the entertainment industry. The talent is out there and so are the Hollywood boundaries!


Of course I have a few ideas on how to tear down those Hollywood boundaries – and they do not involve the above mentioned government agencies or officials, the Supreme Court, current laws of employment and discrimination, or Unions chastising anyone in the entertainment industry, and it will make those who join me in my filmmaking projects leaders in the genuine inclusion – a step ahead of the rest of the industry – making history, considering the past portrayals and representations since the birth of the entertainment industry and continue on today in the 21st century as I listed above and therefore will become participates in a significant “turning point” in American cinema – and potentially make a lot of money in the process! In fact, I challenge anyone in or out of Hollywood to bring me any valid objection or reason that anyone will lose in making a commercially viable film, like my “London Time ” feature film project, that is authentically represented with a paraplegic writer/director (yours truly) and an actor who is a paraplegic in a movie that breaks the stereotypical images, characters, and stories that are normally associated with a movie that features a paraplegic character in the starring role! Seriously, I will put “London Time” up against any independent film project out there looking for the same professional independent production budget ($8-15 Million) and distribution support and I can show how there are no comparisons – “London Time” is clearly the best film project available with the best potential to be a huge box office and non-theatrical revenue stream hit! Can anyone tell me one reason that I could not justly counter of why “London Time” is a bad idea? It is way past time for paraplegics and others with a disAbility to represent ourselves and so we can have our own heroes on the silver screen and then in our own homes through our home entertainment centers! Do you have any idea what a guy like “Dirty Harry” or John McLane of “Die Hard” who happens to also be a paraplegic using a wheelchair would mean to the entire disAbled community of 56+ million Americans? Well that is Detective London of “London Time”! Go meet him on the “London Time” page!

Hollywood Drive By Shooting!

I could shoot first and ask questions later, but the most important part of this is that it is time to shoot! I cannot wait for the proper independent production financing and distribution support for the feature film, “London Time” to fulfill my need to shoot something! So, it is time to shoot a short film while we continue to make opportunities happen for “London Time”. While I have several shorts written and some partly written – I have it narrowed down to the following – and I wonder if you have any thoughts on which I should shoot! Which do you like or think is the best to help make the mission of authentic representation of paraplegics and those with a disAbility in general, in movies and television?

“Glacial Breeze”

Oooo, so icy cold!


And yet oh so good looking! What happens when the person we thought was so attractive from first sight looks differently to us when we see the whole person?


Glacial Breeze separately follows two people, a man and a woman, whose lives kind of mirror one another as they are very attractive and the opposite sex flirt with them all day long until they all bump into each other at a restaurant that night and we get to see the whole person of each! Yes, this is taking the moral of the story from figuratively to literally as we do not see that our two main characters are wheelchair users until the end and that is when we get to also see what others are like when they too see the whole person is in a wheelchair that they didn’t see during the day, driving in a car or behind a desk.

  1. This is one that is fully written and even a complete storyboard .
  2. No dialogue – will use sound effects and music. This allows the audience who unless they know me or the Abilities United Productions brand – will get caught up with the supporting characters who are attracted and flirting with our two main characters and will also be surprised near the end when it is revealed they are wheelchair users! It will hopefully make audiences reflect on their own opinions and reactions to seeing the “whole” person and a little insight to what it is like for these unique characters with a disAbility!
  3. Approximately 12 minutes long and estimated budget of $6,500.

“Un-Working Class”

This is a dramatization of many stories of people with a disAbility working or since we are rarely accepted in creative roles, trying to work in the entertainment business. It has several fictional characters and one (e-gags I cannot believe this) that is based on me who is on a production set directing a scene from the “London Time” screenplay and may be (I really cannot believe I am saying this as I don’t like being in front of the camera) that I may portray! It is full of creative ways to tell our story of life as an artist in this business that end in an almost Public Service Announcement style that asks Hollywood to let us be the creative beings that we are with the same opportunities to represent ourselves just like all other minorities and our able bodied counterparts.

  1. This is fully written in a screenplay but does not have a storyboard.
  2. Handful of stories that interconnect to tell everyone what it is like for those with a disAbility in Hollywood – it could be seen as an expose and may cause some backlash while also raising awareness to our reality in this business.
  3. Approximately 20 minutes long and estimated budget of $6,000.

“Let Me Be Myself”

The Geico Cavemen commercials are unique and universal in showing what it is like to be stereotyped and how it feels when others represent them only in those stereotypes.


They also show what it is like to be different from everyone else and despite that and how others view them, it is okay to be yourself. I highly identify with them as a paraplegic and full time wheelchair user! In this short film, I want to use the comparison of some of these Geico Caveman commercials and mirror them with some other wheelchair users. That includes using a similar slogan in which they say, “Geico, so easy a caveman can use it.” I would be using the image I created with the saying “Hollywood says: disAbility is so easy anybody can represent.”


 This is not completely written – merely sketched out and will use only a handful of locations such as: the bowling alley, airport walkway, night time street, etc.

  1. This could be a good, quick, video that might be good internet marketing if it goes viral or semi-viral. But there could also be a problem with using some of the Gieco commercial scenes and the 3 Doors Down song used in the commercial. May be able to contact and get permission under the premise this is to make a good point that is necessary and will not be used commercially.
  2. Approximately 5-7 minutes long and estimated budget $2,500.

“The Randomizer”

This is a comedy that emphasis the minority status of the disAbility community and how it is not given the same respect as all other minoritiThis is a comedy that emphasis the minority status of the disAbility community and how it is not given the same respect as all other minorities in Hollywood. Investigative news reporter is doing a story on the claims of this new phenomenon of a “minority randomizer” that randomly selects the minority status of a person who is injured or has a disease/illness. The first is an interview with a white man who does not believe there is such a thing as a “minority randomizer” but as he drives away in his car it is struck by another vehicle and he steps out of his car shaken and a bit in pain but also as a victim of the “minority randomizer” as a black man!


As he shakes his head, grateful that his is alive, he then realizes what has happened he tells the reporter that he is so glad he was wrong about the “minority randomizer” because he is an aspiring actor and this means he still has a chance at working in Hollywood, unlike if he was disAbled – although his parents may be even more upset now then when he left the Mid-West to follow his dreams! Because a disAbility can happen through injury or illness and either born with or acquired later in life, the reporter investigates other cases and claims of this new “minority randomizer” included a new born in the hospital who is not the same race at their parents but they are extremely happy it is a racial minority and not a disAbility minority so that their child will have the opportunity to become to a star in Hollywood! A couple of other cases are investigated and then the reporter closes the news segment by saying that it looks like the phenomenon appears to be real and until things change in Hollywood and those with a disAbility are treated with the same respect of self-representation as other minorities the “minority randomizer” is a good thing for those working or hoping to work in the Hollywood!

  1. This is still being developed and not written or storyboarded.
  2. Could be a real funny short that could get some airplay on the “Funny or Die” website which could bring a lot of attention to the real issues that are being made fun of in this short film.
  3. Approximately 15 minutes long and estimated budget of $4,500 (depending on the car accident scene and location or set work for other scenes)!

“Coming Out”

This begins with a head shot of a person (could be me – e-gags again!) explaining that their lifestyle is different than most and is based on something that is they feel is a major part of their life and their identity. They did not choose being like this and in some cases of others who are like him – it is not something that can easily be hidden – and that even fashion can be a dead give away as the camera zooms out and more of the person is shown he unbuttons a dress shirt and puts on gel gloves (those that are without fingers and often made of leather and/or mesh and easily mistaken for another lifestyle apparel.) After explaining this unique lifestyle he then mentions how it is time to “come out” and declare who he is and that because he lives and works or aspires to work in Hollywood the most liberal of people and companies that believe everyone should have the right to have their own voices, representations, and heroes and that they often embrace minorities of all kinds and that all should be treated equally – the camera then reveals he is a paraplegic in a wheelchair and his closing remarks state the reality that all of the above are true but that there is an exception when it comes to the disAbility minority and the individual voices and representation of those with a disAbility who Hollywood only on occasion will include a character with a disAbility and most of those limited roles are only considered inclusive on paper since they are nearly always written, directed, and performed by anybody except those with a disAbility.

  1. This is still being developed and not yet written or storyboarded.
  2. I wrote a blog entry very similar as this 2 or 3 years ago that is just as funny and serious, but this would have a lot more affect in a short film that could become an internet viral video on YouTube. Many people will follow the character through his description of his often misunderstood minority status, about being different from most and how he should empower himself by “coming out”! That he should be loud and proud of who he is and that it is good that he wants a career in Hollywood rather than the military! Until his minority status is revealed – and then it should – hopefully cause the audience to think about the realities of being disAbled and repressed because of our “lifestyle” in Hollywood.
  3. Approximately 5-6 minutes long and estimated budget of $500 (depending on the use of props and maybe editing in some other images as he describes what he is talking about. It could be less if I…e-gags again…if I am the one in front of the camera!)

So those are the possible short films. Some have more information that can be accessed on the website and some that require more development, but I think they all have great potential to help raise awareness and cause others into action to our cause and mission with a possibility of raising some support for the new representation (aka – representing ourselves) of those with a disAbility in a non-stereotypical and commercial movie such as “London Time”!

What are your thoughts?

Which one to you like best?

Which do you think will have the best impact?

Are they the same short film project?

Tell me which one you think I should shoot first and soon!

Celebrity Justice Microcosm of Hollywood

With all the talk about Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen not being held to the same standard as all other citizens I wonder why some people are so surprised.


Not only does this seem to be a long time practice when dealing with celebrities who get in trouble with the law but this is how the industry works too. It seems that just like individual celebrities, the motion picture and television industry is not being held to the same standard as all other industries either! The fact that they are often not even challenged is more surprising than these celebrities who are multiple offenders who still get the lightest of sentences!

Case in point: Hollywood Discriminates! Whether it is on purpose, ignorance, fear, ambivalence, stubbornness, not wanting to change, just not caring or paying attention, refusing to recognize or accept as all other industries have – that those with a disAbility are not only a minority but the largest and fastest growing minority in America, or a host of other reasons, but Hollywood does discriminate – right in front of everyone – and not only gets away with it, but is often applauded for being diverse and inclusive. HOW? WHY? Their inclusion and diversity is only on paper – and it is just as thin considering that the overwhelming majority are written by those who have no idea – except what they have read – of what it is like to live with a disAbility. And the same holds true when it comes to giving life to those characters with actors performing and directors giving their vision of what that character on paper is all about, why he or she feels the way they do and their reactions when other characters interact with them!  

If a study like that done by the National Arts and Disability Center at UCLA that was commissioned and then published by the Screen Actors’ Guild – “The Employment of PERFORMERS WITH DISABILITIES in the Entertainment Industry” which details some of the incredible statistics of discrimination in Hollywood was done on any other industry – companies within that industry would scrambled and rush to make changes to end discrimination or any appearance of discrimination. But this was published in 2005 and most of the industry – certainly the top companies like the Big 6 studios didn’t even blink an eye. In fact, the discrimination continues by hiring able bodied majority actors to portray and represent disabled minority characters – such as those in the most successful movie of all time, “Avatar” and in the new hit television show “Glee”.  

While the television show, “Glee” portrays in episode 9, “Wheels” about how offensive it is to fake a disAbility through the paraplegic character “Artie” who producers EMPLOYED able bodied actor Kevin McHale, they also used another character, “Finn” pretending to be disAbled to get a job and in fact threatening the manager with a discrimination lawsuit from the ACLU if he did not hire the “handicapable” person – who is secretly faking being a paraplegic. This is wrong on so many levels! But interesting how they can portray on both a moral and a legal level how wrong it is to not use – not hire a person with a disAbility – especially when portraying a person with a disAbility – all the while they do exactly that! 

Has anybody thought about threatening an ACLU lawsuit for discrimination against the producers of “Glee” for NOT hiring a paraplegic actor for the paraplegic character – just like they portrayed in this episode?

And why do they continue to get away with it? Is there any reason that makes it okay to discriminate? Would that reason be okay to hire a white actor to portray a black character?


In the 1920’s, Al Jolson was a huge star even before the talkie film/musical – “The Jazz Singer” and wearing black face was accepted by majority of audiences and the entertainment industry did not allow black entertainers on the stage or in front of the camera so this portrayal and representation was acceptable. But did that make it right? Would it be right today? Except for comedic affect and only on occasion such as in “Tropic Thunder” – but what about other minority portrayals and representations – even those that are acceptable today?

When a person with a disAbility sees a character with a disAbility in a movie or television program it gives them a sense of pride for being included, and that gives some hope, even empowerment – but that quickly fades and can even lead into alienation and anger when it is discovered that the image was faked by an actor who has no idea what it is like to live with a disAbility. That is the impact the Hollywood discrimination of those with a disAbility can and does have.


Sam Worthington a very able bodied actor – and a screencap of “Avatar” because all promotional pictures for the movie conveniently frames most if not all of the wheelchair out of the picture. Regardless of how you frame it – it is a majority actor portraying a minority character – basically this portrayal and representation is an “Al Jolson in a wheelchair”. And this is acceptable in the 21st Century!


Able bodied actor, Kevin McHale portrays regular character who is paralyzed in the new hit television show “Glee”. Surely he knows how paraplegics get through their daily lives knowing they will never stand up, run, jump, or walk ever again, and how paraplegics feel enough to not only portray but also represent paraplegics on television. He said he learned how to make his legs lay to the side to accurately portray paraplegics. That is supposed to be a substitute for genuine and authentic portrayals and representation on television for all paraplegics and those with a disAbility? No matter how you fake it – you are still faking it – just like wearing black face – but is this for comedic affect?

And if I read one more article where the co-creators and co-writers, Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy, who have written every episode of “Glee” so far, where they say they “understand the concerns and frustrations expressed by the disAbled community” I will do all I can do take out a full page ad in the trades to quote them and then call them LIARS – there is no way they can understand what it is like to be a paraplegic and how upsetting it is when someone is faking a disAbility – especially like being paralyzed – oh, wait – they do understand – they even portrayed it – in episode 9 “Wheels” so instead of LIARS – I will call them what they are – HYPOCRITES!

They know it is morally wrong and that legally they could or should be sued for discrimination for not hiring a paraplegic – both of which was portrayed in the same episode – but they do it anyway? And they get away with it? In fact, they offer no apologies when confronted with issues (ie: they only say they understand the concerns and frustrations of the disAbled community) and instead hide behind the Hollywood legal loophole to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to not discriminate based on disAbility by saying they “hired the best person for the role”! And the majority of the audience is fine with this. WHY? Are you one of them?

Just like Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen as the most recent examples of Celebrity Justice – we have James Cameron who is making a record-setting $350 million just from “Avatar” while discriminating and faking a disAbility minority, and “Glee” producers Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy to make $40 million while continuing to discriminate and fake a disAbility without being held to the same standard as all other industries and any challenges from the ACLU as prime examples of HOLLYWOOD JUSTICE!

This Hollywood Justice is not based on principals, what is right or wrong, or even the law – as in Americans with Disabilities Act, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – and they get away with it because audiences and society in general do not care enough to hold them to the same standard while accepting their justification of discrimination by claiming artistic and dramatic license. Even with the amazing technology, stunt doubles, camera angles, and an industry that is one of the richest on the planet and can afford to make some very minimal modifications to make a film production accessible or afford the so-called higher insurance rates for employing authentic actors with a disAbility – for at least the roles that are specifically written as characters with a disAbility – they still find excuses to discriminate and hire able bodied actors. Audiences and society in general would not accept any excuse for discriminating or faking a racial minority with an actor using black face in a dramatic role, but these Al Jolsons’ in a wheelchair portraying and representing a disAbility minority seem to be acceptable.  

So who is at fault for the injustices of Hollywood Justice?

A. Hollywood Producers/Studios/Directors

B. Able Bodied Actors accepting the roles

C. The Legal System

D. Audiences & Society not caring


What will make Hollywood be held to the same standard as all other industries – and will give those with a disAbility the same fair and equal employment opportunities in creative roles, representation, treatment, inclusion, dignity, respect, human and civil rights as all others in movies and television?

This Hollywood Justice affects 20% of Americans, not to mention their family and friends who love them and wished they were portrayed fairly, and not just a handful of Hollywood stars getting away with not being held to the same legal standards as all other citizens! Hollywood Justice has a huge impact. Do you care?