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New study shows networks leave $10B on the table by not casting disabled actors

Modern ballet performed by woman in wheelchair and her dance partner
Photo: Igor Bulgarin / Shutterstock.com

A new study from The Ruderman Family Foundation shows that U.S. consumers have a potential buying power of $10 billion a month towards stories that showcase characters with disabilities authentically – specifically by casting disabled actors. Additionally, half of viewers are more likely to sign up for content distributors committed to more accurate representation of disabled characters.

“Hollywood tells the stories that the world consumes, and it has an obligation to portray people with disabilities authentically,” foundation president Jay Ruderman said. “There is also a significant financial gain to be made through authentically portraying disability.

The Disability Inclusion in Movies and Television analysis was conducted among approximately 1300 movie and TV consumers between the age groups 16-34, 35-54, and 55 and older. Of the people surveyed, 66 percent self-identified as disabled.

The report revealed more than 50 percent of U.S. households are likely to watch a show if the character is played by an actor with a disability.

 

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