Award-Winning Writer, Actor and Producer, Netflix's Special
Ryan O’Connell is an Emmy®-nominated and Writers Guild Award-winning writer, actor, and producer who co-wrote and stars in Queer as Folk, an inclusive reboot of the iconic series of the same name.
Ryan O’Connell is an Emmy®-nominated and Writers Guild Award-winning writer, actor, and producer who co-wrote and stars in Queer as Folk, an inclusive reboot of the iconic series of the same name. He can also be seen starring in the critically acclaimed SPECIAL, a four-time Emmy®-nominated and Writers Guild Award-winning short form series on Netflix, which he wrote and executive produced. O’Connell received a Special Recognition Award from GLAAD Award and a Visibility Award from the HRC. SPECIAL, which is also executive produced by Jim Parsons, is loosely based on O’Connell’s own upbringing and experience as a gay man navigating the world with cerebral palsy and is set to return later in 2021 for its highly anticipated second and final season. In what became a cultural phenomenon, SPECIAL premiered to rave reviews, with critics calling the show, “The television revolution you didn’t know you needed” (Romero, Refinery29) and “A rare, important perspective to TV” (Maple, Bustle). Fans around the world praised the series for its refreshing, honest, and long-overdue portrayal of a gay man living with cerebral palsy.
Next, O’Connell will re-team with Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak and That’s Wonderful Productions to create the HBO Max original series, ACCESSIBLE, which will follow Clare, a 15-year-old girl who’s recently been in an accident and is forced to attend a boarding school for people with all kinds of disabilities while coping with the usual teenage dilemmas. The series will be another landmark milestone for representation for the disabled community.
O’Connell is also an accomplished, sought-after writer and his voice is both refreshing and unique. He is the author of I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, part-memoir, part-manifesto which was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015 to widespread praise. O’Connell’s forthcoming debut novel Just By Looking At Him will be published in Spring 2022 by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Additionally, O’Connell served as the Editor of Thought Catalog and has contributed to Vice, BuzzFeed, and numerous other publications. O’Connell’s writing career spans television as well. He previously served on the writing staff on NBC’s revival of WILL & GRACE, MTV’s AWKWARD, and NETFLIX’s THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Ryan O’Connell - Hacking Into His Human Condition on “Special”
Ryan O’Connell Is Passionate About Special’s Realistic Gay Sex Scenes
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