Autism group demands apology from CBS (AP)

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MrMark
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18 Feb 2008, 10:14 am

Autism group demands apology from CBS

NEW YORK - A national autism group is demanding an apology from CBS over a disparaging remark a contestant on the reality show "Big Brother" made about people with the disorder.

John Gilmore, executive director of Autism United, says his group has been trying to speak with CBS executives since the show aired last Tuesday.

On the show, a contestant named Adam, who said he works for an autism foundation, said he would spend his winnings on a hair salon for people with developmental disabilities "so retards can get it together and get their hair done."

more...


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18 Feb 2008, 10:19 am

Bleah. Tasteless.


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18 Feb 2008, 11:18 am

I don't think CBS is to blame. If anyone should apologize, it's the one who said it. That aside, reality TV sucks.


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18 Feb 2008, 11:20 am

Nobody should have to apologize for their opinions, no matter how objectionable they may be. It's too bad we've come to a point where no one can say anything without someone being offended. :roll:


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18 Feb 2008, 12:15 pm

That is disgusting. I didn't even know they were still making Big Brother. I've never watched any of that show. I do think CBS is to blame for not clipping out his comments. They have control over what is aired.

His opinion confirms my suspicions though about some of the people who work with disabled children.



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18 Feb 2008, 12:31 pm

Just for the record, a fellow contestant took the guy to task for saying what he did.


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18 Feb 2008, 12:45 pm

That guy's a real loser. How old is he?


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18 Feb 2008, 12:48 pm

Oh he's 29. That explains it all. Words of that variety seem to be a favourite, with the NTs of my generation.


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Mikomi
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18 Feb 2008, 1:19 pm

Tortuga wrote:
I do think CBS is to blame for not clipping out his comments. They have control over what is aired.

His opinion confirms my suspicions though about some of the people who work with disabled children.


About the first part, I agree. About the second part, being that both of my children have autism, that's just disturbing to contemplate.


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18 Feb 2008, 2:05 pm

What a retard.


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KimJ
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18 Feb 2008, 2:25 pm

Quote:
His opinion confirms my suspicions though about some of the people who work with disabled children.


That's really irresponsible to say after hearing this one story. The guy in question has already been exposed as a fraud. He never worked with disabled children (at least in the capacity that he claimed to). The foundation is distancing itself as far as possible because of the comments and the fact that he wasn't working with them at the time he was on BB.

Besides, I think the entire conversation was taken out of context and people are giving power to this no-name game show contestant.



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18 Feb 2008, 3:04 pm

Praetor2379 wrote:
Nobody should have to apologize for their opinions, no matter how objectionable they may be. It's too bad we've come to a point where no one can say anything without someone being offended. :roll:


Well, okay. Just remember that next time someone calls you any other kind of nice words they "can't use anymore"....and believe me, it will happen.

The kinds of words we use in reference to people are an indication of what we truly think of them. A person who refers to people with disabilities as "retards" thinks they're inferior and he can call them whatever he wants. To folks like him, they're not worth anything nor do their thoughts matter anyway.

It's not just about the "words". It's about how this kind of thinking impedes our chances of making friends, getting employment and making a life for ourselves within the NT world. There are many people who think this way, yet don't actually use the "R" word. These are often the bosses, social workers, school teachers and lawmakers who make decisions which affect those with disabilities.


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Last edited by nirrti_rachelle on 18 Feb 2008, 3:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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18 Feb 2008, 3:13 pm

I don't mean to defend him here -- he meant it as an insult and that certainly seems clear to me after watching the clip, but I think we are too sensitive about that word. It has the literal meaning of being delayed and impeded. My social skills are definitely delayed and impeded, so I think it is fair to say that I am retarded in that way. This is one of those times where a word has taken on meaning because it has been used as an insult. The word itself is benign; it only has power if we give it power. Let's not give it power.



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18 Feb 2008, 3:32 pm

1. The media needs to take responsibility for what is said on shows. Why?

2. Most people are Retards (NT's) because most of their opinions come from tv.

LOL.



MrMark
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18 Feb 2008, 3:35 pm

Shadowcat wrote:
Most people are Retards (NT's)

Not exactly a point of view representative or supportive of neurodiversity.


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18 Feb 2008, 6:08 pm

k96822 wrote:
I don't mean to defend him here -- he meant it as an insult and that certainly seems clear to me after watching the clip, but I think we are too sensitive about that word. It has the literal meaning of being delayed and impeded.

The word "retard", used as a verb, indicates an action intended to delay another action, as when one retards the spark in an old-fashioned distributor (in order to delay the transmission of the spark to the spark plugs, to permit optimal compression of the air/fuel mix in an internal-combustion engine). It's seldom used in that sense any more, given that every internal-combustion engine manufactured currently uses computer controls for the entire combustion cycle in order to improve efficiency and reduce pollution, so the spark is automatically retarded or advanced as needed. It can also be used as a fancy way to refer to slowing someone or something down ("retarding their progress").

Used as a noun, the word has no literal meaning - it is a slang term, used as a derogatory reference to the developmentally-disabled (or, more broadly, to anyone of whom the speaker disapproves, but of whom he has no specific complaint - see modern slang usage of "gay" or "stupid"). The speaker clearly intended to use it to denigrate his supposed charges, the autistic children he claimed to have cared for (a claim which, it would appear, has since been disproved). It was meant to be insulting - either the speaker did not care about angering an entire segment of the population with his blatant bigotry, or more likely he didn't think any of us would hear about it (I personally don't watch the show, and were it not for the mention here, I doubt I would have ever known of this incident).


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