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Sign PETITION: Ask Columbia Pictures to apologize for film’s hurtful & offensive remark about Autism
I was so dishearted and disappointed to learn about the manner in which Autism is raised in the movie "21 Jump Street", that I felt compelled to not only write to Columbia Pictures, but to start an online petition requesting a public apology. Please watch the trailer yourself, and if you are in agreement that the movie's dialogue was in poor taste and downright offensive, please support me by signing this petition and even writing a letter to Columbia pictures yourself.
An Open Letter To:
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 W. Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Mr. Douglas Belgrad, President
Ms. Marisa McGrath, Senior Vice President, National Theatrical Publicity
March 16, 2012
Dear Mr. Belgrad and Ms. McGrath,
It is with the greatest sense of disappointment, frustration and sadness that I am writing in response to your production company’s remake of “21 Jump Street”. I just previewed a trailer of this movie which makes a mockery of Autism. In doing so, it is not only offensive to my son, Michael and our family, but to the more than 1.5 million individuals across the United States and Canada who suffer from this serious developmental disorder.
Are you aware that 1 out of every 110 children in the US is afflicted by Autism? The prognosis for the majority of these individuals is bleak to say the least. Most of them will not marry. Due to limited or even non-existent social and verbal skills, many individuals on the Autism Spectrum find it difficult or even impossible to establish or maintain friendships. Social stigmas make securing or holding down a job extremely challenging. It took my husband and I, and a team of over eight highly trained therapists, over nine years to toilet train Michael. At the age of 17, Michael cannot walk out of the house alone without being at tremendous risk of running in front of a car or wandering off with a stranger. I cannot console him during his profound moments of sorrow; he only says “walk”, his way of requesting to be alone during these frequent teary episodes which leave me wondering if he is simply sad or instead, is suffering from the pain of an excruciating abscessed tooth or an appendix that is about to burst.
Autism is no laughing matter. As parents, we mourn every day for our children who have been lost to the grips of Autism. We lie awake every night wondering who will take care of our babies once we grow old and are no longer there for them. Your movie’s so-called “joke” is insensitive, offensive and hurtful.
Through my website, AutismBeacon.com, I do my best to fulfill what I believe is my duty as the parent of a child with Autism to raise awareness, dispel myths and help shape society’s views about Autism. Getting the message out is difficult, to say the least, so when the mass appeal of a popular movie like “21 Jump Street” in less than a minute undermines everything that I and my fellow advocates are trying so earnestly to change, I am sure you can appreciate how disheartening this can be.
I look forward to receiving a response from you in this regard and request that you issue a public apology to all individuals on the Autism Spectrum, and to their families for this distasteful and disrespectful slur. I would also request that you consider making a donation to a registered Autism charity that as part of its mandate, promotes Autism awareness.
Brenda Kosky Deskin
Mother to Michael
Founder and Editor, AutismBeacon.com