Jan 13

SAG AWARDS-NO inclusion of Disabled Actors-Stop the awards

Five years ago, Darren Dione Aquino, National Chief and disabled SAG Actor (prior to the merge) was chosen through a lottery, as the token disabled actor to attend the SAG awards. It was a magnificent experience, however,  it gave appearance that disabled actors are welcome and included fairly in the drawing. SAG and now SAG/AFTRA  has to include disabled union actors to the SAG awards.

Disabled actors should be invited to the event since actors are voting for their fellow actors. SAG opened up a lottery to invite other actors for the general audience of union actors. However, once we arrived, we noticed that there were more friends, family and non union actors and one non union disabled individual at a table of 10 with no recipient at the table. It was stated that the award floor was for the awardees. However, for this table of 10 , there was no award recipient. Explain please? Why was this table of 10 present, it could have held 10 disabled actors.

Five years ago, I offered my services to facilitate the needs of disabled actors to be able to participate in this union event to both SAG and the Academy awards. Neither entity showed any interest as a public entity receiving Federal funding.

This organization was responsible for getting actual disabled union actors on Law and Order SVU. These disabled individuals portrayed their actual disabilities. We were able to do this with the acceptance and understanding of the need for inclusion by Peter Lido, Dick Wolf and Ted Kotcheff.

We spoke with Jennifer Coyne-Hoerle and Jeff Margolis(who is no longer involved with the awards) regarding the inclusion of disabled actors. Jennifer stated that she would stop the drawing if she had to include 25% of disabled union actors.

We have been in correspondence with Nicole Nakagawa, executive legal counsel for the SAG awards, and if we cannot come to common understanding of what must be done, we will proceed with legal action.

ADA VETS is preparing to lodge a class action law suit to stop the awards unless disabled actors are included.

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