Friday, February 19, 2010
Dont special needs children already have enough to deal with in life?
In the past week there have been two stories that have really bothered me and Id like to share my opinions about them. They are the Family Guy television clip where the cartoon show make's fun of Sarah Palin and her down syndrome son Trig and then there was Bill Maher on his Real Time HBO show claiming that her job at FOX News was comparable to talking to a child with down syndrome and referred to Trig as "it" on three separate occasions. I've got lots of views on this so here goes.
Ill start with Family Guy. I don't watch the show and have never seen an episode, mostly because I am an adult who believes cartoons are for children. I have never seen an episode of the Simpson's or South Park because they just don't interest me. I have nothing against people who watch them but its just not for me, like I said my belief is that they are for children. With that being said I think the portrayal of a down syndrome actress in a particular clip pretending she is the child of Sarah Palin is absurd and disrespectful to Sarah Palin, her family, and families of those with special needs children. The actress who played that character in the clip has defended the scene saying "I guess Sarah Palin doesn't have a sense of humor" and calling it "sarcasm" and citing the fact that she was raised to laugh and enjoy life. Now she is obviously a special needs person as it is and her comment will be viewed as defending the scene and the show itself but it begs me to ask the simple question, why must we feel that sarcasm and humor at special needs children's expense is acceptable in today's society?
Let's move on to Bill Maher. My personal opinion is that he is piece of trash and has nothing useful to say and is a waste of space on this planet but none the less let me divulge on his ignorance for a second. Comparing a job at a television network to having a child with down syndrome and then calling him "it" on three separate occasions is absolutely and inexplicitly awful in every sense of the word. Now I know Bill Maher did this for ratings and he needed to do so since his show is such a flop but once again why do these individuals feel that they must make fun of special needs children to get a laugh or a rise out of someone? I don't have children but I have family, friends, and co-workers who do and whom have children who are special needs children and although every individual may take this type of "shock humor" a different way the fact is it is wrong and there is no justification for defending it any way you spin it. We do have to take everything that comes out of Maher's mouth with a grain of salt because lets be honest here, this is an "it" who dressed up as Steve Irwin with a blood socked shirt and a stingray's tail coming out of the heart less than only 2 months after Irwin's unfortunate death. See image below of the asshole himself.
With the unprecedented amount of television shows and mass media outlets available to the public in this day and age anything and everything that is said on air which is either derogatory or insulting will no doubt be aired unless of course your name is Barack Obama but that is an entirely other blog. Speaking of our President, he along with Rahm Emanuel have also make off the cuff statements regarding special needs individuals. Obama when saying he couldn't bowl better than a Special Olympics athlete and Emanuel when calling a group of individuals retards. Unlike Sarah Palin I don't think it is ok when Rush Limbaugh calls a group retards and I think that was hypocrisy by the former Alaskan governor when she attempted to justify that it was.
Why is there any need to poke fun or use so called "sarcasm" to exploit those who have special needs? I don't understand it and I never will and yes if Michael Jordan, Jessica Simpson, and George W Bush all make fun of special needs children I would still think it to be wrong and be ashamed of them. This is not a right wing conservative vs liberal left wing battle, it is a simple matter of respect and decency among those who have television and radio shows and those who are public figures in our world today. People like Maher and the creators of the Family Guy will continue to say things to get ratings no matter who it may offend because that is just who they are but it doesn't mean it is right and we as a society should start showing these people how we truly feel about it. If HBO had any decency themselves they would cancel Maher's show and never allow him to return to the network but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.