“Crip Camp” director James LeBrecht immediately took to Twitter, saying CBS and Television Academy lied to him about including a ramp.
There has been a catching-up process with respect to industry and people with disabilities. Although one in four people have a disability in the United States, the portrayal of people with disabilities in Hollywood remains abysmal and this is often reflected in the utter dearth of disabled narratives, actors and creators touring the discounts. of price. Just 48 hours ago, Television Academy and CBS announced that this year’s Emmy Awards would be the most inclusive of all time, with a ramp making access to the stage open to everyone.
But you might not have seen him at the ceremony on Sunday. The only noticeable access point for anyone in a wheelchair or with limited mobility was a wide strip of flat ground on the left side of everyone’s TV that was low to the ground. All presenters and winners climbed a series of stairs, either to access the main, pyramidal stage or another separate stage. Even Paralympian Jennifer Long, who uses prosthetic legs, had to be helped up those stairs.
“Crip Camp” director James LeBrecht immediately took to Twitter, saying CBS and Television Academy lied to him about including a ramp. LeBrecht is the reason people were talking about the ramp in the first place. With the help of the Disability Education and Advocacy Fund (DREDF) and lawyer Michelle Uzeta, LeBrecht had previously filed a lawsuit against Americans with Disabilities (ADA) against the two entities, with CBS responding that ‘they would design an “ADA compliant ramp”. it was “fully integrated” and “visible” – none of them that LeBrecht, or many of those who know the wheelchair manager, noticed during Sunday’s ceremony.
LeBrecht, speaking to IndieWire, said he felt the attorney who emailed him on behalf of CBS had lied, especially since the letter claimed the scene was created “from a way more inclusive than anything that is required by the ADA “. Watching the ceremony, he couldn’t see how a disabled person could avoid the stairs.
CBS did not respond to a request for comment.
A source told IW there was a permanently built ramp on the left side and the producers asked if anyone needed to use a ramp, which no one did. LeBrecht said it didn’t match what he was told at all. “They don’t know who would have benefited from a ramp,” he said. “They don’t know what the physical demands of anyone are. “
LeBrecht said that asking people if they need ramps forces participants to disclose that they have a disability. “Do they want to force people to disclose their disabilities and then risk their careers because of the stigma? he said.
The pain stings all the more as Television Academy CEO Frank Scherma took to the platform flanked by stairs to congratulate marginalized creatives, including people with disabilities, during the broadcast. Ironically, he didn’t tout the ramp he rented during the trade talks leading up to the awards.
As far as LeBrecht is concerned, the question is not over. “I will definitely consult with the lawyers I have worked with,” he said.