May 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
With all the discussion about diversity and inclusion in entertainment, what action is being taken to ensure opportunities for America’s largest minority, entertainment professionals with disabilities? The lack of representation both on screen and behind the camera means that millions of people are unable to see themselves in the media today. The panel will shine a light on the evolving landscape in Hollywood, as vanguards work tirelessly behind the scenes to make opportunities more inclusive and bring more diverse stories to the front of the camera.
In Attendance: Sue Ann Pien (Actor, As We See It), Lauren “LoLo” Spencer (Actor, Sex Lives of College Girls), and Madison Tevlin (Actor, Champions).
Moderator: Lawon Exum (RespectAbility’s Entertainment & News Media Director)
A wearer of multiple hats, Lauren ‘Lolo’ Spencer is a disability lifestyle influencer, a model, a content creator, a public speaker, and an independent spirit award-nominated actress. Currently, Lolo can be seen starring as Jocelyn on Mindy Kaling’s HBO Max hit series, Sex Lives of College Girls, voicing the role of Jazmyn “Jazzy” Jones in Disney Branded Television’s animated series Firebuds, and making guest appearances on a variety of today’s hottest TV shows.
Hailed as The Hollywood Reporter’s “Next Big Thing” and People magazine’s “One to Watch”, Sue Ann Pien has garnered Outstanding Lead Performance nominations for her groundbreaking role as “Violet” in Amazon’s “As We See It”. Having worked as a Screen Actors Guild performer since 2004, Sue Ann brings hard-earned years of professionalism and craft to her on-screen portrayals despite her recent coming out in the ASD community. She also writes, directs, and produces her own creative projects and enjoys rock climbing, cooking, and singing karaoke as pastimes.
Madison Tevlin began her career at the age of 12 when her cover of John Legend’s All of Me went viral.
Born and raised in Toronto Ontario, Madison is a model, advocate and actor. Her credits include: Mr. D, Your Two Cents, Who Do You Think I Am, and her iconic role as Cosentino in the film Champions, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by Bobby Farrelly.
Madison is the first person with Down syndrome to be nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, for Best Host, Talk Show or Entertainment News.
Madison is a member of Best Buddies International, she walked the runway as part of the Knix Confidence Tour and she is a keynote speaker at the Dear Mom conference in Laguna Beach.
She has written for Net-a-Porter and Maclean’s.
Madison strives to shatter the presumptions people have towards individuals with Down syndrome. She’s always said it’s the least interesting thing about her.
Madison is passionate about people and what makes them tick. She loves singing, dancing and the arts. Madison hopes to inspire people to dream big and live life to the fullest.
Lawon Exum is the Entertainment and News Media Director at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.
Exum has worked in the entertainment industry for 30 years. He started out as an intern at XM Radio (now Sirius XM) as a Producer for the XM Jazz station. This experience propelled him to work at Arista Records as an A&R representative for musical artists such as Usher, The Neptunes and OutKast.
Exum then worked at Sony Pictures Television. He began contributing to projects such as “Breaking Bad,” which took his career to another level. He helped manage social media and build a following of fans for the series. Throughout his time at Sony, he worked in marketing, legal, and content creation.
Through all his responsibilities, Exum was able to be involved in unscripted television. He was a houseguest on CBS’ “Big Brother” in Season 13, where he was known for his fashion and personality.
As Exum’s career flourished, he worked for 20th Century Fox studios, working on projects including “Empire” and “This Is Us.” He also went back to school and received a master’s degree in communication management from the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, with a minor in specialized journalism (The Arts).
Exum subsequently shifted careers again to work in news. He became an Associate Producer for “Wake Up CBUS,” which is the Columbus, Ohio local CBS affiliate station’s morning show. While producing the show, he realized the importance of mental health throughout his career, and he wanted to do something about that. A desire to bring change to the entertainment industry, especially around mental health, is what brought Exum to RespectAbility.