Archive for January 19th, 2018

Global CALLS OUT NETFLIX for anti-disability,
anti-Down syndrome rhetoric

January 19th, 2018 by Global Down Syndrome Foundation

With the #Metoo movement in full swing and the 1st Anniversary of the Women’s March looming, it’s shocking to see Netflix promoting its newest stand-up show aptly called “Disgraceful.”   Netflix promotes the show by claiming its comedian “…gives voice to the sordid thoughts you’d never say out loud, with blunt musings on porn, parking lot power struggles, parenthood and more.”

Apparently sordid thoughts about the disabled and people with Down syndrome are fair game. In fact, the show’s anti-disability sketch was deemed so funny by Netflix that it is used in their trailer. 

At the Global Down Syndrome Foundation we are grateful for the freedoms we have in the US – including freedom of speech.  AND YET, we also believe there are words that we are free to use, but as a society choose not to use because they are so directly tied to violence against a vulnerable population.  I would argue the ‘R’ word is exactly such a word – witness Willowbrook, NY to Pueblo, CO today.  The best essay I have read on this subject is written by our board member and renowned actor, John. C. McGinley (after you read it you will have a “Captain My Captain” moment).

Sometimes it is hard to advocate.  I’m a working mom, I’m perpetually tired so I get it. But we can all take a moment to post, like, share, or petition.  And WHY NOT demand Netflix to:

  • Edit out the anti-disability and anti-Down syndrome rhetoric in the show?  
  • Immediately take the appalling sketch out of their trailer?
  • Issue an apology for failing to use humanity as the demarcation line for comedic depravity?

What we are asking for is NOT too much or too difficult.  There are lots of depraved topics that are funny (disclosure – I’m half NJ Italian) that don’t lend themselves to violence or oppression.  So, you can still get that cheap laugh and feel good about yourself. 

It’s time to call folks out. Seriously, we have nothing to lose. 

Michelle Sie Whitten, President and CEO, Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Read John C. McGinley’s essay, Spread the Word to End the Word

Read full article on The Mighty

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