Jonathan Murray is one of the best allies that the one-in-five people with disabilities has on earth. While Murray does not have a disability himself, he knows what it is like to be stigmatized as someone who is openly gay. He told RespectAbility that he’s “always felt like a bit of an outsider,” continuing:
“Growing up gay, you learn how to adjust your behavior to fit in with the predominately straight population. I think this gave me an appreciation for the challenges of people with disabilities, as well as other communities that have been marginalized.”
Murray is widely credited with helping to usher in the modern reality television genre. He has created and executive produced some of the industry’s most innovative, unscripted entertainment television programs.
But Murray’s programming does more than just entertain. It has played a major role in fighting stigmas that underrepresented communities face.
Murray’s shows have featured positive, accurate portrayals of people from the LGBTQ community and people from the disability community. He was featured in Variety’s 2017 Inclusion Impact Report for his work on the issue of representation. Murray also serves as a board member for RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. He has hosted many of RespectAbility’s gatherings of disability and Hollywood leaders, including the launch of RespectAbility’s Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit.