Family Guy and Down Syndrome Girl
Just read Sarah Palin’s comments on Sunday’s episode of (yuck) the Family Guy’s story line of Chris’ date with a “Down Syndrome Girl”, which is also the title of the song that nasty little character, what’s-his-name sings. I needed to find out what happened after reading so many of the comments on Sarah’s FB page before I could comment on facts versus comments from the left/right. Ok – just watched the clip for myself – The song “Down Syndrome Girl” is more offensive generally than specifically. (I understand crude humor is trademark to FG and that is why so many watch this vile show.) The girl with Down syndrome (use people first language – recognize the person first and then describe their condition) was not the focus of the song. There was only mild offense regarding her. One phrase “take that little whore…… spin her on the dance floor…” was the worst. However, although the lyrics were crude, they were crude and disgusting as they poked fun at Chris who was going on the date with the girl with Down syndrome (people first language again). In real life, girls with Down syndrome DO go on dates with nice guys–guys who sometimes smell and sometimes don’t. Just like any other guys or any other girls. What’s hard to deal with in any format is depicting people with Down syndrome or other issues in a disrespectful way. Humor is one thing; degradation is another. There is too often a fine line. What is humorous for one person may be gut-wrenchingly degrading for another. It’s perspective and it’s personal.
For instance, recently in our small town a young mother of four elementary age children was sledding, enjoying some play time with family and friends. She ran full speed ahead into a tree when her sled lost control and the young mom is now fighting for her life with a severed spinal column and two collapsed lungs. As I was watching a truly funny show (AFV) that same week, instead of laughing, I gasped at each person’s goofs as they slammed into trees while sledding, lunged into vehicles while falling off bikes, or fell recklessly off rooftops. These are not humorous issues. They can be fatal. Just like taking cheap shots at people with disabilities or bullying someone less fortunate than yourself. Yes, fatal. People have been known to kill themselves or others as the last resort to ending the pain of people’s torments that re-play in their minds over and over.
Instead of caving in to crude humor, let’s get a little more cerebral and enjoy a good conversation, an interesting storyline, creative wit and appreciate the value of every person without demeaning anyone.
Nina Fuller 2-16-10