October 22, 2019

CBS Accepts Ruderman Foundation’s Disabilities Pledge

CBS logo. Photo from Wikipedia.

CBS, a major television network, agreed to sign a Jewish foundation’s pledge calling on them to audition an increased number of actors and actresses with disabilities. The Ruderman foundation called on many large TV networks to sign the pledge June 19, but CBS was the first one to agree. The Foundation’s Seal of Authentic Representation was granted to CBS when it hired Darryl “Chill” Mitchell, a disabled actor, in “NCIS New Orleans” to play the role of agent Patton Plame.

Foundation President Jay Ruderman commended the major network for becoming the first to sign the pledge. “It is our hope that other major media companies will follow their lead and foster opportunities that will lead to more authentic representation of people with disabilities in popular entertainment. Enhanced visibility of disability on screen will help reduce stigmas people with disabilities face in everyday life,” he said.

The pledge recognizes that the disabled community lacks numbers in the entertainment industry. The pledge also acknowledges that increasing the number of auditions for disabled people will hopefully bring the disabled community to be a more included group in the industry.

Although there are numerous disabled people roles on-camera, 95% of them are played by peoples with no physical disabilities.

We take pride in our commitment to cast and hire people with disabilities in our productions,” CBS Entertainment EVP, Diversity, Inclusion & Communications Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i said in a statement. “We salute the Ruderman Family Foundation for advocating for this very achievable and important goal.”