Press Release

December 2, 2021

Media relations
Fonda Berosini
Disney Entertainment, Networks
Share this release

ABC Owned Television Stations Present ‘The Story of Ady Barkan,’ the Powerful 11th Installment of the ‘Our America’ Series, Set To Premiere Friday, Dec. 3, on Hulu and Saturday, Dec. 4 (10:30 P.M. PST) on ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles

‘Our America: Accomplices -The Story of Ady Barkan’ Shines a Light on the Challenges the Disabled Community Faces Through the Riveting Journey of Healthcare Activist Ady Barkan Who is Living With ALS

ABC Owned Television Stations present “Our America: Accomplices – The Story of Ady Barkan” premiering Friday, Dec. 3, on Hulu, which also marks the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities.” The half-hour special provides behind-the-scenes access into the riveting journey of healthcare activist Ady Barkan, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 and experienced firsthand the many challenges disabled and senior communities face that prevent them from leading independent quality lives. The special is authentically narrated by Ady Barkan as he speaks through a Tobii Dynavox, an electronic device that tracks his eye movements to type out words, so he can share his story in his own words.

Barkan, an American lawyer, activist and one of Time Magazine’s  “Most Influential People of 2020,” has been fighting for social justice for historically underrepresented and marginalized communities since his youth.   After being diagnosed with ALS in 2016, he began to shed light on the inequities in the American healthcare system.   Be A Hero, the organization Ady co-founded, has been advocating affordable and accessible home care, which Ady attributes to helping him stay alive. He believes that all disabled, sick or aging individuals should be afforded the same access.

“Our America: Accomplices – The Story of Ady Barkan” shares with viewers Ady Barkan’s fight for healthcare justice as he premieres his film, “Not Going Quietly.” Viewers will also experience the power behind home caregivers as they witness those who care for Ady throughout his daily life and brave journey.

In the special, Ady introduces a new form of allyship, called “accomplice ship” and the powerful modern-day meaning, as he shifts the national conversation – challenging politicians and government officials and encouraging everyone to be a modern-day “accomplice” to underrepresented communities — which includes the disabled community. “’Accomplice ship’ requires working hand in hand with the most marginalized, underrepresented and excluded voices toward a world where everyone can live with dignity and [have] the basic resources they need to thrive,” said activist Ady Barkan.

The special was led by ABC Owned Television Stations’ Race and Culture executive producer Nzinga Blake. “Persons with disabilities are often communities that are ignored and excluded within the conversations of diversity and inclusion,” said Blake. “Ady’s story and advocacy is an incredible reminder that people with disabilities can lead productive lives and be major contributors to society if given the resources and support to do so.”

“Our America: Accomplices – The Story of Ady Barkan” captures Ady’s life, mission and journey while exemplifying modern-day “accomplice ship” and what courage and influence against all odds looks like.

The special premieres on Friday, Dec. 3, on Hulu, and is available to stream across each owned stations free news apps: ABC7/WABC-TV New YorkABC7/KABC-TV Los AngelesABC7/WLS-TV Chicago6ABC/WPVI-TV PhiladelphiaABC7/KGO-TV San Francisco, ABC13/KTRK-TV HoustonABC11/WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and ABC30/KFSN-TV Fresno, and connected TV apps on streaming platforms Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku. Additionally, the special will air on Saturday, Dec. 4 (10:30 p.m.) on ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles, the most-watched station in Southern California.

The “Our America” series aims to amplify the voices of marginalized communities by examining social issues, exploring historical context and providing insightful information while celebrating heritage, triumphs and common humanity. The “Our America” series is executive produced by ABC Owned Television Stations’ Race and Culture executive producers Nzinga Blake, Porsha Grant and Mariel Myers.

About ABC Owned Television Stations
Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution’s eight owned ABC stations are multiplatform leaders in local news and information. Collectively No. 1 across all U.S. television, reaching 23% of households and more than 34 million Total Viewers and 62 million digital visitors a month, the eight stations are comprised of WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno. The stations also deliver locally sourced storytelling to more than 17 million viewers across America through its multiplatform lifestyle network, Localish. In 2020, the stations received five Broadcast & Cable awards, including in the 2020 Best in Local TV Awards category as Station Group of the Year for its innovative and next-generation news reporting, and in the major market category for 2020: Best News Coverage, Best Digital Multiplatform or Website, Best Investigative Reporting Station Group and Best Public Affairs Programming, illustrating the Group’s strength and ever-increasing growth and reach in the multiplatform space.