Global President & CEO Michelle Sie Whitten Takes a Stand

REALLY? Insulting people who are victims of sexual abuse and people who were incensed by crass racist comments wasn’t enough? ANOTHER NETFLIX comedian has to take a swing at people with Down syndrome?

And while the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon did the right thing and CANCELLED Norm Macdonald’s scheduled appearance on it show, NETFLIX is once again supporting the “R” word, disparaging comments about people with Down syndrome, and even social media promoting violence against advocates for people who are differently-abled.

The WILL of the people defending against sexual and abuse and racism was heard. I am counting on those same people to come together for those who are differently-abled and make sure this population also has a STRONG a VOICE. PLEASE. Let us come together and send Netflix a message to CANCEL THIS SHOW! And if they don’t cancel the show, consider cancelling your NETFLIX subscription. For a day, a month, anything that shows power in numbers WHO CARE.

For Norm, glad you apologized. But REALLY? You needed a word for “stupid” and you came up with “Down syndrome”? I call on you to spend a day with a person with Down syndrome and then see if you can’t come up with a better word.

To be clear, 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 discrimination against a vulnerable population. 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 discrimination or oppression. So, you can still get that cheap laugh and feel good about yourself.

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

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

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