Five things you should know about Disney’s biography of ‘Ray Ray’

Disney’s new film, “Safety,” is the empowering story of former Clemson player  Ray Ray McElrathbey and his perseverance to gain custody of his 11-year-old brother. 

Before the film debuts in spring 2020, here are five things you should know about the story.


Who is Ray Ray McElrathbey?

Ray Ray McElrathbey was a 2006 redshirt for the Clemson Tigers. 

At the time his father was out of the picture, and his mother was in rehab for drug addiction. 

Ray Ray began his fight for custody of his brother, Fahmarr, to keep him from going into foster care.

A community that cares 

As reflected in the film, the NCAA provided permission to Clemson University’s tightly knit community to provide McElrathbey resources he needed to succeed, such as rides to school and a trust fund for his brother. 

The fund exceeded $46,000 in a span of only two weeks.

Recreating the magic 

In the 2006 season, McElrathbey was present in every game as a special teams member and was able to complete four tackles against Florida Atlantic at the season-opener.

On Sept. 21 this game was replicated at Memorial Stadium during halftime of Clemson’s game against Charlotte for movie film.

Filming will also take place in places significant to Clemson, such as Esso Club, the former Jervey gym, and the reflection pond located outside of the library. 

Method to the madness 

Reginald Hudlin is the designated film director. He formerly directed the infamous 2012 hit “Django Unchained.” 

Producer Mark Ciardi has been working to develop a script and further ideas for 12 years now. 

After completing footage at Clemson the cast will return to Atlanta, McElrathbey’s hometown, to complete the production. 

‘Role call’

None of the cast members in the movie “Safety” are well-known. 

They are all young and relatively new to the Hollywood scene. 

McElrathbey himself is a consultant for the film launching on Disney in late 2020. 

by Olivia Sanders

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