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'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Kayla Cromer Star Has a Message for Filmmakers About Neurodiversity

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What happened: Josh Thomas, Maeve Press and Kayla Cromer — the stars of Freeform’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” — recently gave an interview about neurodiverse representation in the media and why it’s important. Cromer is one of the first autistic actors to play a person on the spectrum on television.

We all share this planet, no one is perfect. Actors with and without differences should get the chance to audition for any role. … Audiences help your ratings, buy movie tickets and buy your streaming services and casting needs to reflect the real world. It’s time to be seen on the small and big screen. — Kayla Cromer

The Frontlines: Neurodiversity representation in the media is rising. The Ruderman Family Foundation, which works for authentic representations and depictions of disabilities, is making efforts to make Hollywood inclusive.

  • In 2018, 22% of all characters with disabilities on network television and 20% of such characters on streaming services are portrayed authentically by an actor with the same disability, which is up from 5% on network television in 2016.
  • 55% of network television shows and 42% of shows on streaming services have characters with disabilities.
  • 71% of all authentically represented characters portrayed physical disabilities, 16% depicted mental disabilities and 13% represented intellectual disabilities.

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A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Molly D. Dann-Pipinias, shared this: “Growing up, I always wanted to see a character like myself on TV. I think it would have validated some of my experiences and made me feel less alone. I am so happy to see inclusion in television, movies, and books.” You can submit your first person story, too.

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Other things to know: For more on “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” and autism in the media, check out these articles:

Where to watch: You can watch season one of “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” on Hulu and Freeform, and see the trailer below. Season two of the series will air in 2021.

Header image via Freeform/Pamela Littky

Originally published: June 22, 2020
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