Leading Israeli TV production companies pledge to expand inclusiveness, audition actors with disabilities for new projects

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The control room of Kan Radio Studios, Israel Broadcasting Corporation, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Four of Israel’s leading broadcast and television production companies have signed a pledge to audition actors with disabilities for all new studio productions, The Algemeiner learned Monday.

Kan, Reshet, Hot and Yes are also committed to creating a more inclusive selection process for all jobs, on and off screen, in the film industry. The engagement was led by the Ruderman Family Foundation in collaboration with the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund and the Israeli Directors Guild.

The Foundation hosted a recent event celebrating the four Israeli companies and their promise, as well as their commitment to promoting authentic portrayal in the Israeli entertainment industry, which is to choose a disabled actor in a role that portrays the same disability. . At the event, Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Hili Tropper, whose sister uses a wheelchair, praised the engagement. Ziv Naveh, CEO and Artistic Director of the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, said the campaign “is a call to wakefulness and action”.

Naveh added, “There are talented people who have become transparent despite their abilities and skills. As part of an industry that creates content for the screen, we are well positioned to influence and effect change. The small effort that is required of us will bring great benefits not only to the disabled community, but to Israeli society as a whole. “

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December 24, 2021 2:05 PM

The Ruderman Family Foundation, the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, and the Israel Directors Guild recently commissioned a poll that found that 70 percent of Israelis see authentic portrayal of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry as a significant issue, but 71 percent said they thought the issue is “very low to non-existent” in the Israeli film industry.

The survey also found that 91% of those polled said they were less willing to watch a movie or show if the production was not included in its cast. Additionally, 86% of Israelis believe the government should step in to ensure there is authentic portrayal on screen.

“Even though last year a more authentic portrayal of actors with disabilities could be seen on screen in Israel, most productions remain inaccessible, and many actors as well as off-screen professionals give up their dreams in advance. to act and work in the industry, ”said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “Therefore, it is extremely encouraging to see four of Israel’s leading production companies commit to creating a more inclusive film industry that offers many more opportunities for people with disabilities. These companies have now become powerful agents of change, claiming that they will no longer tolerate discriminatory practices within them.

Roei Alba, CEO of the Directors Guild, said that the commitment “promotes and encourages equal employment in all professions on set – creators, actors, production people, etc. We greatly appreciate the entities that have chosen to sign the pledge and take an active part to participate in social change on the issue of inclusion of people with disabilities in the film and television industry in Israel.

The Ruderman Foundation has launched a similar pledge in the United States to promote greater inclusion and engage studios to audition actors with disabilities. CBS Entertainment joined the engagement in 2019 and earlier this year it was adopted by NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The Foundation has drawn up a open letter last year, he called on studio, production and network executives to create more employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The letter was signed by many well-known Hollywood figures, including Oscar winners George Clooney and Joaquin Phoenix; nominated actors for the Danny DeVito, Ed Norton, Bryan Cranston and Mark Ruffalo awards; actresses Glenn Close, Olivia Munn and Eva Longoria; and Oscar-winning director Peter Farrelly.

The Ruderman Foundation also received a million dollar grant to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy Foundation last year to support its diversity and inclusion efforts.


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