CBS Entertainment Pledges to Audition More Actors With Disabilities

On a day of pretty heavy news stories, here’s one that’s a bit more uplifting.

Variety reported yesterday that CBS Entertainment is the first in the industry to sign a pledge committing to auditioning actors with disabilities. The Ruderman Family Foundation’s Audition Pledge aims to increase on-screen representation for people with disabilities by encouraging production companies to seek out disabled actors for roles of any size. The full pledge reads: “We recognize that disability is central to diversity, that the disability community comprises the largest minority in our nation, and that people with disabilities face seclusion from the entertainment industry. We understand that increasing auditions, no matter the size of the role, is a critical step toward achieving inclusion in the industry. This studio pledges to increase the number of actors and actresses with disabilities who audition for parts on television and in film.”

Foundation president Jay Ruderman commended CBS for being the first to sign the pledge. He said, “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.”

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

Alison Pitt