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Born This Way Cast Honors Their Casting Directors

Present 2018 Casting Society of America Award to Sasha Alpert and Megan Sleeper

Jonathan Murray and the Born This Way cast at the Media Access Awards 2018

Jonathan Murray and the Born This Way cast at the 2018 Media Access Awards

Beverly Hills, California, Nov. 8— The cast of Born This Way and executive producer Jonathan Murray made an appearance at the Media Access Awards to present casting directors Sasha Alpert and Megan Sleeper with the Casting Society of America Award. The Media Access Awards, which recently has formed a partnership with Easterseals Southern California, honors accurate inclusions of disability in film, television and new media.

Alpert and Sleeper cast Born This Way, for which they won the 2017 Outstanding Casting for a Realty Program Emmy Award. Born This Way is an unscripted series on A&E that follows the lives of seven young adults with Down syndrome as they navigate friendships, romantic relationships and work. The Casting Society of America Award, which Alpert and Sleeper were awarded, honors casting directors who actively participated in the mission of Media Access, according to the Casting Society of America.

Murray and the cast of Born This Way presented Alpert and Sleeper with the award. Steven Clark, Cristina Sanz and Rachel Osterbach delivered lines before presenting the award.

“Hey, see how to make a star!” Sanz said, striking a pose on stage.

“Both of these amazing women are dedicated to bringing people with disabilities into the real world of television,” Murray said before presenting Alpert and Sleeper with the award. Murray applauded Alpert’s and Sleeper’s sensitivity about casting—a trait that makes him “especially proud.”

Murray wanted the show to explore the positive realities the young adults with Down syndrome live, but television and film do not often explore. “In thinking about the show, we wanted to focus on the ability within the disability and I think that is what is exciting to see,” said Murray.

Murray hopes that Born This Way has a lasting impact on the culture of television.

“What I would like to see is that more shows have a diversity to them where the diversity is not the point of the show,” Murray added. “I’d like to get beyond the labels to accurately reflect what is going on in our country today.”

Read the profile on Sasha Alpert and Megan Sleeper’s Media Access Awards win on our website: www.respectability.org/2018/11/casting-media-access-awards.

Meet the Author

Virginia Campbell
Virginia Campbell

As a filmmaker and writer with a disability, Virginia Campbell is aware of how important it is to hear authentic stories from many different perspectives. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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