Peter and Bobby Farrelly are being honored with the Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion by the Ruderman Family Foundation for their inclusive and accurate depictions of people with disabilities.
“Despite its immense potential for leadership in inclusion, social justice and civil rights, Hollywood has for far too long left disability out of the conversation about diversity. But changemakers like the Farrelly brothers are indispensable players in efforts to shift the conversation,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “With the growing influence of allies, like Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who share our commitment to more inclusive and authentic representation of people with disabilities, there is no limit to what Hollywood can achieve as a paradigm for greater inclusion in all of society.”
In a taped response, the Farrelly brothers thanked the foundation for the honor and shared that their reasoning for including people with disabilities in their films is “not to make a statement but to tell the truth.”
“When we started making movies, we decided to include people with disabilities in the stories we tell because they are a part of our lives and it’s not a real world if it does not include everybody. We are honored to receive the 2019 Morton E. Ruderman award. For us to be associated with the work of the Ruderman Family Foundation is a great honor, and we thank them for their tireless work to create a more inclusive society,” the Farrelly brothers said.
A study by the foundation found that 95 percent of television characters with disabilities are played by able-bodied actors, noting streaming platforms had a better percentage but still a lower overall count of characters with disabilities.
In 2018, Peter Farrelly co-wrote and directed the comedy-drama Green Book, which won a Golden Globe Award for best screenplay and earned Academy Awards for best picture and for best original screenplay. The Farrelly brothers are also known for writing and directing several famed films that have included actors with disabilities, such as Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You, Something About Mary and The Ringer.
The filmmaker duo will receive their award during a spring ceremony in Beverly Hills next year.
Earlier this year, the foundation awarded the seal of authentic representation to Netflix’s Tales of the City and Raising Dion, ABC’s General Hospital, BBC/HBO’s Years and Years and Audience’s Loudermilk.