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Jonathan Murray

Jonathan Murray, Board of Directors

headshot of Jonathan Murray in colorWidely credited with helping to usher in the modern reality television genre with his late partner Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray continues to inspire, influence and entertain television audiences worldwide. Since the launch of The Real World on MTV in 1992 through Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP), Murray has created and executive produced some of the industry’s most innovative, unscripted, entertainment television programs including Born This Way (A&E), which documents the lives of young adults with Down Syndrome and their families. Serving as Chairman of BMP until April 2015, Murray was responsible for guiding the creative process that has distinguished the company’s shows since the early 1990s. In 2007, the company launched BMP Films which sold its first critically acclaimed documentary, Autism: The Musical, to HBO. A follow up documentary, Autism: The Sequel, which will pick up the story ten years later, will air next year on HBO.

Murray currently serves as Executive Consultant, remaining at BMP in a creative capacity to develop series and documentary passion projects, and oversee some of the company’s longest running series. BMP continues to thrive, producing projects for primetime, cable television and streaming platforms including the 33rd season of The Real World (Facebook Watch) and the 34th season of The Challenge (MTV); Emmy award-winning Born This Way (A&E), Keeping up with the Kardashians, Total Divas (E!), and Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime). Additionally, their film entity, BMP Films, has produced Valentine Road (HBO), which premiered at Sundance, Pedro (MTV), Shadow Billionaire, and Autism: The Musical (HBO) that received two Emmy Awards and They Call Us Monsters, which looks at juvenile justice issues.

Murray graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and currently lives in Los Angeles. He previously served on the Boards of Semester at Seas and The Television Academy. In 2012, Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Meet our Boards of Directors and Advisors

Learn about all of the members of RespectAbility’s Board of Directors and Advisors: https://www.respectability.org/about-us/meet-our-boards-of-directors-and-advisors/.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

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