Kids Choice Awards Award Autistic Actress Kayla Cromer the “Big Help Award”
Kids Choice Awards Award Autistic Actress Kayla Cromer the “Big Help Award”
you can also email the kids choice awards email@example.com to email your submission. Put “The Big Help” Award Celebrity Nomination Submission tell them why. Even copy and paste some of the information below.
KAYLA CROMER IS THE FIRST ACTOR (ACTOR MEANING MALE OR FEMALE) WITH AUTISM TO PLAY AN AUTISTIC CHARACTER IN A LEADING ROLE ON A TV SERIES! She is changing Hollywood! That’s why she deserves the Big Help Award
TV SHOW “EVERYTHINGS GONNA BE OKAY ON FREEFORM & HULU
Kayla Cromer is an Autistic Actress. Autistic Girls and Women Have Been Waiting for This.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019By Haley Moss
For the longest time, I’ve been disappointed that I have never seen myself on television.
I mean this figuratively, of course, but based on the way autism is portrayed in mainstream media, you may be convinced I only understand and use literal language. I have seen my face plastered across local and national news several times before. But never, in entertainment, have I seen an autistic girl or woman portrayed on the small screen in a meaningful way. I have seen young boys, from Max Braverman in NBC’s Parenthood, to high school senior Sam Gardner in Netflix’s Atypical, all the way to successful men like Shaun Murphyon ABC’s The Good Doctor. And I have seen the endless speculation over whether or not Sheldon Cooper from CBS’s The Big Bang Theory is on the autism spectrum (he is not). But I have yet to see a woman on the autism spectrum grace my television at prime time.
I, and many other autistic people, have criticized these fictional television portrayals for one reason or another. I found the first season of Atypical to be a laundry list of autism stereotypes; if anything, it showed how much work needed to be done regarding portrayals of autism and illustrated the need to include autistic people in writers’ rooms and casting efforts. I have never once felt that any of the autistic boys and men on television accurately represented me or autism as I experience it. I feel similarly about film depictions such as The Accountant and Rain Man. I could not personally relate to any of these characters or the actors who played them. The actors were all neurotypical. Not one of them was on the autism spectrum.
Everything I have previously believed and witnessed regarding autism portrayals in television and movies may be about to change.
Earlier this week, Kayla Cromer announced she is on the autism spectrum at the Freeform Summit. Cromer is the young actress who will be starring in the upcoming Freeform dramedy Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. Her character on the show, 17-year-old Matilda, is also autistic. Matilda is one of the main characters in this cast, and hopefully is not a quick plot device to help the main character, her older half-brother Nicholas, grow. Based on what little we know about Matilda as a character, she is a wide-eyed musician. Already, based on this interest and because we have an autistic teenage girl on screen, Matilda as a character is smashing autism stereotypes because her special interests do not revolve around animals (Max Braverman was fascinated by bugs; Sam Gardner was fascinated by penguins).
Outside of Matilda’s character and her potential arc, this portrayal already is a bold and positive step forward because it features an autistic female lead played by an autistic actress. At the Freeform Summit, Kayla said, “so many characters today are portrayed by people who do not have a difference and honestly people with a difference are fully capable of playing our own type.” She’s absolutely correct when it comes to autism representation. One of the only recent instances in which an autistic actor played an autistic character came in 2017: Mickey Rowe, an autistic actor, played main character Christopher in the Broadway production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Rowe’s role was a nod not only the lack of characters with disabilities, but also to the underrepresentation of actors and actresses who actually have disabilities. But rarely, if at all, have we seen autistic girls and women playing ourselves on television.
Autistic girls and women like Kayla and I have always existed, though we are identified less often than the boys and menon the autism spectrum (although it’s said that autism does not discriminate by gender and there is gender inequality within autism diagnoses). The widely cited diagnostic ratios of autism probably explain why we are so used to male autistic characters dominating our screens. When I think of autistic actresses, I think of Daryl Hanna – but I have never seen her play an autistic woman before, and she had kept her autism a secret throughout most of her career. In contrast, Cromer is openly leading the way.
I have never seen myself on television. I have never been able to relate to Rain Man, Sam Gardner, or any of the other autistic television and movie characters we have come to know over the years. I am hoping that when I see Matilda for the first time in Everything’s Gonna be Okay, I will be able to relate to her. At the very least, I will be able to relate to the actress portraying her, and that is a breath of fresh air
Everything’s Gonna Be Okaypremieres on Freeform on Thursday, January 16
Los Angeles, Jan. 16 – Newcomer Kayla Cromer is breaking barriers in the entertainment industry as one of the first people on the spectrum to play a character on the spectrum in a lead role. A neurodiverse actress and activist, Cromer stars as Matilda, a high school senior who is driven to succeed and is on the autism spectrum, in Freeform’s new comedy series, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.
Before Cromer started to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, her original goal was to attend the FBI Academy and become a criminal profiler – a passion of hers since her pre-teens. After being invited to model in a San Francisco photoshoot and one of the photos went viral, her modeling career took off. Cromer has appeared on magazine covers and editorials nationwide, which led to getting represented in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now she is focusing on her acting career, with role models like Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom, who both have dyslexia.
The role of Matilda became “an opportunity to play a character authentically and advocate” for Cromer.
“Comedy is being authentic, being yourself,” she added. “Both my character and I can be hilarious, without even knowing it.”
With one-in-five people having a disability in the U.S. today, the lack of representation – just 3.1 percenton screen – means that millions of people are unable to see themselves in media today. Of those, 95 percent of these characters are played by actors without those disabilities. Everything’s Gonna Be Okay is bucking these trends with the character of Matilda and casting Cromer.
Cromer’s agent, KMR Talent’s Gail Williamson, who represents actors with disabilities exclusively, said the first audition for the role of Matilda was Kayla’s.
“After seeing her work, they knew they would be able to work with someone on the spectrum for the role and only considered actresses on the spectrum moving forward,” Williamson said, recalling the producers statements during a Q&A. “Kayla was the final choice, but she advocated for all actors on the spectrum that day.”
Because of authentic casting – and discussing scenes in pre-production with Cromer, including re-writes – the character of Matilda is refreshing.
“I have autism,” she says in the show, matter-of-factly and with confidence, later stating, “I really don’t like hugs” before offering an alternative greeting.
Cromer was first diagnosed with ADD, dyslexia and dyscalculia when she was seven years old. Her diagnosis of Asperger’s came later, which is common, as women and girls are less likely to be diagnosed as being on the spectrum than men and boys. As none of her disabilities are visible, Cromer revealed she is neurodiverse publicly just last year.
“Even though I had learned to advocate for myself in life, I was scared to shine light on it professionally,” she said. “Having the support of my Everything’s Gonna Be Okay team helped me to embrace my disclosure. I feared being labeled and typecast. I want to explore and expand my craft into different genres, to play neurotypical characters too. My biggest dream is to train and join Marvel Cinematic Universe! I am determined to break stereotypes!”
Cromer noted that since disclosing publicly, “the reaction has been very positive and created an amazing snowball effect.”
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay premieres on Freeform on Jan. 16 at 8:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. CT.
Unlike 'Atypical' and 'The Good Doctor,' 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Actually Cast an Autistic Actor
BY PIPPA RAGA
1 DAY AGO
From the moment the trailer for Freeform's newest show, Everything's Gonna Be Okay, dropped, viewers were wondering whether actress Kayla Cromer was really autistic.
That's because the trailer for the show, which premiered Jan. 16, opens with a little girl taking the podium at her father's funeral. "Hello, I will be doing dad's eulogy," begins this glasses-wearing blonde's endearingly humorous speech. "I have autism."
So, is Kayle Cromer autistic?
Kayla Cromer plays 17-year-old Matilda, who comes off a bit younger than her almost-legal age. Last year, the young actress revealed she was actually on the autism spectrum, like her character.
"I have learned to trust the journey and this event is the perfect place for me to come out publicly for the first time that I'm actually on the autism spectrum," she said during a press event for Everything's Gonna Be Okay."I never thought I was even funny before playing Matilda," she continued. "But my acting coach convinced me by saying, 'Kayla, I think you're capable of comedy because frankly, your quirks resemble those of Sheldon Cooper."Josh further shared that Kayla really helped shape Matilda's character and is a large part of why she feels so realistic and authentic on the show. "She's so helpful at helping me know what is realistic for someone with autism and what isn't," he continued to the outlet.
"Sometimes she will get dialogue she doesn't understand and that helps me know that's something she probably wouldn't say," he recalled, adding that Kayla "keeps [him] honest," and that her contributions to the production are "really valuable."