Last night Channel Ten aired a comedy parody of an advertisement that made fun of the popular series The Good Doctor. This parody occurred on the show Skit Happens and the video began with the producers making fun of how some autistic people speak and then continued along this vein to make fun of stimming and finally ending with the catch phrase ‘The Good Hospital, where everyone is on the spectrum’. I personally don’t have an issue with people shedding a bit of light on autism in a comedic way however this video went way too far. I am extremely disappointed that Channel Ten thought this sort of material was ok to air. This sort of material is extremely offensive to those on the autism spectrum and their families who work hard to change the stigma that surrounds the spectrum. This sort of material is the reason so many people hide who they are for it tells us that society still does not see us as equal human beings and that we are different to the point of existing only for the amusement of others. I find it funny how neurotypicals are busy teaching us autistics the social norms, norms that include acceptance of difference, yet neurotypicals are the ones airing this material that teaches people that it is ok to make fun of people with different abilities. This material promotes bullying which 90% of us fall victim to and this bullying has and will continue to take lives which is no joke.
In future Channel Ten along with other television and media networks should ask themselves, would airing certain material about any social demographic be going too far? If they are not sure why not take the time to ask an individual from the demographic you are talking about. This simple yet effective practice would act as a safeguard as your audience is made up of individuals, each different, unique and amazing in their own way who together make up a world that should be a more accepting and inclusive for everyone without exception and we are looking to community influencers such as Channel Ten to set the standard and lead the way.
Autism Advocate, Blogger, Speaker
Link to video (warning may be distressing to some viewers) https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/tv-shows/skit-happens-sketch-slammed-offensive-in-the-extreme/news-story/a9e125d7b6ab2694a597d1581924937a
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