Disney has come under fire in the past for its lack of diversity and representation, and the latest thing to stoke the flames is a mom's petition for the company to add more special needs characters. Representation in media is important, and I think adding a Down syndrome character as the petition asks would be a step in the right direction. Of course, once news of the petition hit the Internet, the response was both swift and nasty. Did we expect anything less?
Keston Ott-Dahl, the author of the petition and the mother of a little girl with Down syndrome, wants movies with role models that her daughter can relate to. Meanwhile, the denizens of the Internet want to know why the 'PC Brigade' is ruining their lives by, you know, politely requesting some diversity in movie casts. Let's see if we can ford Jerkwad River without getting dragged under by the current, shall we?
1. Down syndrome = alcoholism, apparently
Yup, trying to show young people with special needs that they can be heroes and heroines too is roughly equivalent to portraying Cinderella as a pill-addled, husband-beating maniac. Good to know we haven't moved past the antiquated notion that having an unusual number of chromosomes is a type of moral failing.
2. Only conventionally attractive, conventionally-abled people are allowed to find role models in movies and on TV
There is no TV. There is only "activities". Because as we know, activities are always available to every child, everywhere; and when they are available, the child's peers in these activities are always a source of support and kindness. ALWAYS.
I am honestly not sure what this person is trying to say. Are they somewhat incoherently thanking Disney for making Nemo a character with a disability? Or are they saying, thanks, we have a special needs character in a Disney movie already, so we can be done now? I'd like to think we could have at least one special needs character who is a human and not a fish, but I'm greedy like that.
4. ... what?
I'm not sure what values this guy fears are going to be imposed on him, other than the radical concept that people with special needs have worth. Or does he think Down syndrome is an 'orientation'?
Brace yourselves. I headed over to Free Republic for the last few comments. If you've made a homemade biohazard suit to ward off Ebola, you might want to put it on before wading in any deeper.
5. Hypocrisy, thy name is SamAdams76Apparently if Ott-Dahl wants to see her daughter represented in media, she should write her own damn screenplay, but genius SamAdams76 can opine about a totally-marketable abortion survivor Disney princess as much as he wants. Maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt and ask to read his screenplay.
6. Self-centered must mean something different in freeper-land
It's SO self-centered to suggest the world doesn't revolve around people who look, talk, and act exactly like ItsOurTimeNow! Geez!
7. Special needs characters! Lesbian princesses! Dogs and cats living together!
Actually, this sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion, Dilbert San Diego! Who wants to start the next petition?