The strange comment from the Television Academy came in response to outrage from disabled viewers. Earlier in the week, organizers of the event had publicly stated that the stage would have a visible ramp to make it accessible to those who need it. This was a monumental demonstration of support for the disabled community, much to the delight of “Crip Camp” director Jim LeBrecht, who initially made the request.
However, as Sunday’s awards show proceeded, there was no ramp to be seen. “We did originally intend to build a physical ramp, but we no longer had the funds after we went over budget on the sketch where Cedric the Entertainer talks to that fly who landed on Mike Pence’s head.”
Later in the show, the Television Academy did recognize the neurodiverse and disabled communities in their grand performance of listing minority groups. To their surprise, disabled people were not satisfied with this shoutout and would have preferred an accessible stage.
While the lack of budget for an $80 ramp may have been a good cover, an insider tells us the decision to exclude disabled people was actually a last-minute strategic choice. “When we realized that literally every winning actor was going to be a white person, we had to scrap the diversity stuff all together. It just wouldn’t have been the right vibe. But there’s always next year!”