One of the starring roles in a new sitcom will be portrayed by an actress on the autism spectrum, according to a report this week by Disability Scoop.com. The show, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, is a half-hour comedy about a twenty-something who steps in to take care of his two teenage half-sisters after their father dies of cancer. The show will air on Freeform, a cable network catering to teens and young adults.
One of the sisters, Matilda (portrayed by Kayla Cromer), is a high school senior with autism. Like her character, Cromer is on the autism spectrum, a diagnosis she revealed last Spring. Speaking at a Freeform Summit panel last March, Cromer emphasized the importance of representing people with disabilities on screen, particularly by actors with disabilities themselves.
“So many characters on television today, they’re portrayed by people that do not have a difference,” Cromer said at the time. “And, honestly, people with a difference, we’re fully capable of portraying our own type and we deserve that right.”
According to Freeform, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay will focus on a wide range of themes, including “navigating autism, budding sexuality, consent, parenthood, adolescence, family and grief.”
The show will premiere on January 16 on Freeform.