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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 30, 2021 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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♪ >> tonight, going tiktok influencers celebrating their disabilities. shining a light on those often overlooked. >> people ask, where's this community been this whole time. like, right here. the whole time. >> and getting real on what privilege and inclusivity look like. plus, nfl dreams. >> zach wilson quarterback byu. >> from the latest hopeful scoring big on draft night tonight, to the women changing the game on and off the field dominated by men. why these trail blazers are in the league of their own. >> i'm just ready for the day that girls don't have to ask,
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can girls do that. >> "nightline" will be right back. in a whole new way. now roomba vacuums exactly where you need it. hey google, tell roomba to vacuum the kitchen counter. and offers personalized cleaning suggestions for a clean unique to you and your home. roomba and the irobot home app. only from irobot. dawn antibacterial cuts through tough grease with 50% less scrubbing. home app. it also removes 99% of bacteria from your hands. dawn antibacterial. an easy way to clean your dishes... a smart way to wash your hands.
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♪ good evening, thank you for joining u tonight the influencers breaking barriers for the disability community creating a unique space on tiktok and challenging the way
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the world sees them. here's "nightline"'s reporter. >> it's here on family farm in franklinville, new jersey where they come alive. >> living here is a fun, unique way to grow up. >> it's one big, happy family. >> these are my pets and, like, my family. >> mckenzie's upbringing was unique in more ways than one, born with a rare form of semd one of only 175 documented cases in history. she's had to find ways to adapt her whole life. competing in equestrian shows and now the aspiring actress is making her own path on social media. >> now, i'm no yogi, but i think that was pretty good. >> to go from growing up on a farm to this pasture you have turned into a pretty big tiktok star. >> yeah it's been a bit
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of a welcome, fun change. >> what's that like for you. >> when quarantine started i was like now's the time to do a tiktok and post educational and fun videos. so i just made one. ♪ >> i felt silly posting it. then i woke up the next day to a couple thousand views. on my first video ever. and it's been like a roller coaster ever since. >> mckenzie isn't alone, for what seems like the first time disabled content creators have a genuine audience like never before. >> the largest video has over 200 million views, this is an audience we haven't tapped into before. >> using tiktok influencers with ll types of disabilities have th tapped into a younger and more eager audience. >> it's exciting to see a
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second-generation of online advocates on tiktok. they're so passionate and we well-versused. >> now disabled creators are using the app to tell their story in their own word disse dissecting privilege in a media landscape otherwise ignore them. >> having access to other people telling stories in a variety of platforms is community-building. >> often times society tries to put us in a box. for me it was see yourself as non-disabilitied. don't be gay. everything changed for me. when i leaned into my disability, came out as gay and started finding happiness in my own way. >> spencer west has been a star long before tiktok. >> i wanted to share some words with you that helped describe my journey and who i am. >> a youtuber and inspirational speaker spencer gives audiences a sense of what it's like to live life with no legs.
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>> what's that mean? time for the next lesson. this here, didn't touch it. this stuff here, didn't touch it. i hope that clears up any confusion. thank you. >> he's built a following and even made a famous friend along the way. de de demi lovato but not until tiktok did things take off. >> i'm going to the bathroom like everybody else. >> now with 3 million followers he is educating and letting audiences to know it's okay to be proud of your disability. >> i group in the 80's, early 90's at that te t be seen as disability was sort of taboo you wanted to be seen like everybody else that your disability didn't limit you in those ways now we're learning that's a terrible way to think. i'm proud to have a disability. it is a part of me. >> and she couldn't agree more. >> i don't have a problem of being disabled, you have a
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problem with me being disabled, one of those things is a problem and it sounds like it's yours. >> she's an activist and writer who focused on the intersection of race and disability. >> so many different thing, political backgrounds, i wish we could no longer be seen as a monolith. >> if i pull up your tiktok page what can i respect. >> the truth. my videos are geared towards not sugar coating my disability. >> the video has an uncompromising honest take as a reality of life as a black woman with cerebral palsy, is looking to change the way society represents black and disable people. >> i'm so glad you agree. we should have way more disabled people in media, film, all of it. >> not you. >> i thought you just said. >> excuse me, i have no more time for this, i am about to
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profit off representations that will create stereotypes you will have to live by that don't include you at all. >> in terms of making people feel better by comparison our bodies are litmus tests how much grateful you could be because you could be us. i really hope black and brown, disabled people see themselves reflected on social media, we need to be seen by the public, by society, because we exist and we're here. >> representation of disabled people in hollywood and media or lack therefore is glaring problems wle 26 of the adult pop lapgs is living with disability a study on top grossing films in 2019 found only 2.3% of speaking characters had a disability. >> if film is the only place you can access or have seen a disabled person and that story
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becomes the only narrative that you learn about, carries so much more weight in shaping your understanding of what disability mites be like. >> when disability appears in a story it always serves a function. >> the doctor who coproduced the film "code of the freaks" how movies treat disability on screen. >> stories are everywhere and hollywood gets hold of our stories ant want to shove it into these really set stereo typical narratives. >> there's more nuanced roles like walt junior on "breaking bad". >> are they too tight? you don't want to get them if they're too tight. >> they're pretty short. >> and steve wang who had muscular dystrophy.
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>> you don't really see people like me on television or their stories are not truly what we go >>n the fm in jersey there's still work to be done and mckenzie has made a promise to herself that she won't take roles that make her disability a punch line. >> as i got older i was offered roles in like commercial marshalls but like you're going to be playing an elf. just portraying that stereotype is hurting the community. i wouldn't be able to sleep knowing i contributed to that and i'm privileged to be able to say no to that. i'm proud of my teams a my content. i like to say maybe somewhere in the back of their mind the video will stick with c making sureog a more for not
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just disabled community but for everyone. >> funny when people ask where's this community been, right here, we've been here the whole time and i think it's our time, i really do. >> our thanks to ash. coming up. changing the nfl, why this group of women is in a league of their own. experience clean in a whole new way. now roomba vacuums exactly where you need it. alexa, tell roomba to vacuum in front of the couch. and offers personalized cleaning suggestions for a clean unique to you and your home. roomba and the irobot home app. only from irobot. (vo) pro plan liveclear, a breakthrough 10 years in the makingapp. that reduces allergens in cat hair and dander.
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tonight marks the start of this year's nfl draft. for the next few days the focus is on young men who dream of joining the big league for years, there's also a group of
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women who are slowly changing the face of pro football. here's abc's reporter. >> it's pro day at oklahoma state university. nfl dreams are on display. the last chance for these nfl hopefuls to show off their skills before the draft, a moment that could be life-changing. in this nearly $16 billion industry men dominate on and off the field. but on this day one woman is taking the lead, nfl agent kelly watching from the sideline as her client nfl prospect completes his drills. >> he is one of the most exciting and prolific wide receiver s in this draft class i'm excited about his future. >> overall things are pretty good. >> he's going to make an incredible transition to the nfl. >> kelly is one of a growing number of female power players in the league, there's 400 licensed agents in the nfl, just 34 are women.
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>> this never crossed my mind that women didn't become sports agents and when i was first confronted by that by a male agent who told me why women didn't belong in the industry i thought it was the craziest thing i ever heard. >> 15 years later she's represented dozens of clients with her own agency. >> in the early years only two or three women represented nfl players i felt like i spent a lot of time defending myself, trying to explain why i woman could do this. >> and the male agent who told her off. >> i've now become friends guys that agent and we've co-represented players together in the years since then, he gets a little grief for that now. >> last year was a banner year for women in football in super bowl lv as they helped to coach tom brady and the tampa bay buccaneers to victory. >> we didn't win the super bowl just because we're here, it's a
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collective team, a collective approach, and every single person in the organization maere this is be a coach in the nfl and next tuesday you're on the field. >> when i started officiating the pea wee level on saturday mornings andjv games and varsity games i fell in love with that. >> it's not easy but for women' it's an added challenge for uphill battle for this highly competitive arena. >> when i first got into officiating i had the largest learning curve, i never played the sport. >> today only eight female coaches out of nearly 800 and this spring maya was added to the roster for the 2020 season thomas was the only female referee. tampa's super bowl win comes after a concerted effort to seek
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10u9 minority talent by bruce arians who spoke about his initiatives in the 2019 nfl annual meeting. >> it's good, it's what weigh need, the gender is different who gives a [ bleep ], i mean, they're good coaches. >> lori as assistant line coach and morrow as a assistant strength and conditioning coach. >> there's such a high and u. the most respect that we both have gotten from our players. >> it's not to diminish the fact we're women. clearly we're women. but you assume a role of coach and that shouldn't have a label or a specific gender attached it to it. it's jho we are. >> for lori, sarah and kelly shattering gridiron glass ceilings is a second act. >> my job before this was 25 years of insurance. >> you was in pharmaceutical sales for a long time. >> i practiced civil litigation. >> organized women's football team came to harrisburg, i was
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at a point in my life with two kids and a full-time job and i decided why not, why not give it a try. >> so we'd be in this one church basketball league and i got kicked out because i was a female. when i asked my brother, like, what are you doing tonight he said going to a football officials meeting i said can girls do that, he said i guess so, sis, be there at 6:00 don't be late. >> and morrow known as mjbegan her coaching career early after playing college basketball. >> i tore my acl. it was a devastating injury for me. that was the time i realized i always wanted to be on the sidelines and give other athletes the same opportunity i had at getting back to their game, getting back to their sport. >> turning a road block into a building block m j landed a job in 2019 with the buccaneers. >> prior to accepting the job
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from tampa i received an offer with another sports organization and it didn't fit right. i didn't have another option after i turned it down, to me, i think i made one of the best, hardest decisions of my life. >> that decision paid off ten-fold on february 7th this year at the super bowl. it was a historic moment. >> if we bumped into each other it was just because i was doing my duties and they were doing their duties and i believe loo and i bump fist but i doesn't see mjuntil after the game. it speaks volumes to their caliber as coaches, not as female coaches but they're doing a job. >> i think sarah looked over during the game and said hello, but i was so locked i may have ignored her by accident until later. >> the buccaneers have the most diverse staff in the nfl, a formula that's clearly been proven to work. >> this is a production-based business. if you don't win you're not in. i don't think you can just throw people at a problem or throw people on a staff and expect
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them to have the chemistry like we have here. it was like 13 years for me before i got to this point of coaching. i think sometimes the media glamourizes the end result so much it's like somebody waved a magic wand and all of a sudden there's women coaches, it does a disservice to show people what it really takes to get to this level. >> the team's initiatives to get more women in the game is a long play, including foflterring growth beginning as early as high school. >> the bucs foundation have committed 250,000 to a girl's football scholarship. flag football in florida is huge. it's a varsity sport. >> for this group of women true progress will mean their milestones become the last. >> i look forward to the day that it isn't news worthy. >> i was 40 years old when i pivoted into this career. so it's never too late to give something you truly believe in, that you truly have a passion
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for a chance. >> i think we'll have a female commissioner some day. to me it won't be a surprise. >> i'm ready for the day that girls don't have to ask, can girl dozen that -- girls do that? they know it's already been done not the first to happen. >> up next, meet the voice behind the national anthem. ♪ dawn's early light ♪ ♪ nope c'mon him? oo, i like him! nooooo... noooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and each sheet is 2x more absorbent , so you can use less. he's an eight he's a nine bounty, the quicker picker upper. i'm morgan, and there's more to me than hiv. more love,... more adventure,... more community. but with my hiv treatment,...
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xfinity. it's a way better way to watch.
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and finally tonight, the voice. ♪ bomb's bursting ♪ ♪ in air ♪ ♪ >> third grade johnson beginning the school day with a jaw-dropping edition of the national anthem. this that dates elementary in louisville, kentucky. his talent spreadig far beyond the classroom. including his take of whitney houston's "i'll always love you"
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♪ >> just nine years old and already hitting all the high notes. nine years old, bravo young king. that's "nightline" this evening. catch our full episodes on hulu, see you back here tomorrow. thanks for the company america. good night.

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