Born This Way was nominated for an Emmy this morning for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. In addition, two episodes were nominated for Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program.
Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the series follows a group of seven young adults with Down syndrome along with their family and friends in Southern California. During its first season, Born This Way grew across all demographics each episode, with adults 25-54 up 84 percent, adults 18-49 up 64 percent and total viewership up 67 percent by the end of the season. Recently, the series was chosen as one of six honorees for the 2016 Television Academy Honors, an award that recognizes television programming that inspires, informs and motivates.
RespectAbility has been honored to have been consulted during the creation and production of Born This Way and congratulates the entire team for its hard work in achieving this nomination.
“As detailed in the just-released Ruderman White Paper on Disability in Television, disability often is absent from mainstream film and television – both the depiction of and, even when a character has a disability, the actor often does not,” RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. “But programs like Born This Way that feature people with disabilities, or that tackle disability issues, in a positive light can be successful both critically and financially. Audiences want to see strong, capable role models with disabilities. By focusing on showing these young individuals’ everyday life choices regarding employment, living independently and dating, Born this Way breaks down stigmas surrounding disability.”
According to the U.S. Census, one-in-five Americans has a disability. Currently 70 percent of working-age people with disabilities are not working – even though most of them want jobs and independence. The numbers are even worse for people with Down syndrome. There are many studies that show that people with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, can work successfully and live relatively independently. The individuals on Born this Way prove that as several are productive employees and one starts her own company.
“By honoring and embracing diversity on television, Born his Way is uniquely redefining the art of honest storytelling and altering the way society views individuals with differences,”Elaine Fontain Bryant, EVP and Head of Programming for A&E said.
The show returned for its second season featuring 10 brand-new episodes on Tuesday, July 26 at 10 PM ET/PT. The first season was launched during an event on Capitol Hill hosted by RespectAbility featuring Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
This season, the young adults and their families continue to live with a fresh and honest perspective as the series dives deeper into their personal independence and relationships, including new friends within the community who also will be featured on the show.