The Biggest Hurdle Born This Way’s Producers Had With Casting
A&E’s Born This Way is one of the most heartwarming series you’ll ever watch. The Emmy-award winning show — which follows seven young adults with Down syndrome as they navigate life, jobs, relationships, and more — has impacted people all over the world. Thanks to the series, a light was shone on those with Down syndrome in a way that’d rarely been seen before. And it’s bound to have an impact on you, too.
As the show’s executive producer Jonathan Murray explained to Deadline, “The show unquestionably changed how society views people with Down syndrome and how people with Down syndrome see themselves.” He continued, saying, “It has shown that no one should have to live with artificial limits placed upon them and all of us, no matter what challenges we face, want the same things — independence, a chance for meaningful employment and a chance to contribute to our families and communities.”
Born This Way producers had to convince the families to get involved in the show
Before Born This Way became a hit show, the producers experienced some hurdles when it came to casting. “Casting Born This Way was really, in some ways, like casting any show, you’re looking for people with charisma, people with energy, people with a unique point of view, people that aren’t afraid to see what they feel and how they’re feeling,” casting director Sasha Alpert revealed in an episode of Born This Way: Moving Forward.
However, casting director Megan Sleeper added that there were some unique challenges to the series. “The biggest challenge for us casting was really convincing the families that we had good intentions with this show,” she revealed. “There wasn’t at the time many shows that dealt with people with disabilities, people with down syndrome, and so understandably the families were hesitant to share their stories out of fear that possibly their stories might be told in a negative light.” Luckily, the producers quickly earned the trust of the parents and families — and the rest is history!