HOW ACTORS WITH DISABILITIES ARE CHANGING THE NARRATIVE IN HOLLYWOOD

'We just keep trucking along and defying the odds,' says Emmy nominee Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell is the creator behind Special. He and his cast have earned a total of four Emmy nominations for the show about a millennial gay man living with cerebral palsy while trying to make it as a writer. (Netflix)

When Ryan O’Connell created his Netflix series Special, he knew it was good. But he didn’t imagine the comedy would earn four Emmy nominations, including best comedy, in its first season.

“I always believed in the show,” said O’Connell. “But having that validated is sort of incredible.”

Special is about a millennial gay man living with cerebral palsy while trying to make it as a writer. But when he gets hit by a car just before starting his new job, he decides to hide his disability from his co-workers, citing the accident as the reason for his limp and dexterity issues.

It’s a story that rings true for O’Connell. It is, after all, based on his real life.

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