Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Born This Way Continues to Unite and Uplift

The Housewives certainly have their place.  But if, like me, you're also looking for something a little bit kinder and more uplifting in your reality TV, check out tomorrow night's season 4 premiere of A&E's groundbreaking series Born This Way.

Born This Way is the continuing story of seven adults living with Down Syndrome as they strive for more independence, career success (cast member Megan Bomgaars is the force behind a fashion collection, Megology) -- and in this season, marital bliss.

The show debuted in 2015, and has been an important force in changing public perception of people with disabilities, and what they can achieve if given the chance.  Cast member Elena Ashmore's mom, Hiromi, told me how much the show has helped Elena grow in her understanding that "Down Syndrome" need not be a label used to hold her back, and has helped the two of them grow closer together.  And this series has had a powerful effect in depicting people with disabilities not only in the U.S., but as Hiromi reminded me, around the world as well.  When Born This Way showed their visit to their native Japan last season, Hiromi was pleased to see how that country's attitudes about disability have also improved.

Today, A&E Networks, in association with the fantastic group Best Buddies International, threw a wedding-themed premiere event at Catch restaurant in West Hollywood, to celebrate the union of cast member Cristina Sanz with her new husband Angel. Celebrities such as Maureen McCormick and Kelly Hu, each with a personal connection to intellectual disability, came out to help celebrate.  And as part of the festivities, A&E has posted a "registry" for Cristina and Angel, allowing fans to donate to one of several related charities.

Kelly Hu (top, center) with Born This Way cast members (l-r)
John Tucker, Megan Bomgaars, Angel, Cristina Sanz, Rachel Osterbach,
Elena Ashmore, Sean McElwee, and Steven Clark.)

Maureen McCormick with the Born This Way cast

Cast members Angel (center) and Cristina Sanz (right) with
Born This Way executive producer Laura Korkoian

Born This Way has shown us Cristina and Angel's relationship as it began and as it progressed, and now season 4 will conclude on September 5 with the episode showing their wedding.  As one A&E executive told me, it's such an emotional episode, be prepared to cry. 

Congratulations to newlyweds Cristina and Angel!

Born This Way
Season 4 debuts Wednesday, August 15, 2018
8 PM - 10 PM Eastern/Pacific (two episodes)