Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yet again they make fun of us

A reader asked me to post this
Hi Tom,


This is a clip from last night's Celebrity Juice (show from the UK). The presenter made a disgusting reference to the King's Speech at the very beginning imitating a bad stammer for the audience to laugh....

The show starts with "Keith's Speech" in front of a microphone... "For the ffffffffffifth time in the lives of most of us there is a fffffffff celebrity juice, I call on you to stand calm as I sssssssssssssolemnly promise there will be no more rude fffffffffffffffffffffffffffff jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjokes". Then he stands up and is completely naked from the waist down with his penis on show although pixelated which isn't really the impotant part. The fact that he made fun of a bad stammer for the audience to laugh at the stammer was the unacceptable part.

I don't understand why there are people out there who think this is "entertaining" or "funny". If someone made the same fun of blacks or disabled people it would be considered of bad taste right? I looked at Youtube but they don't have the clip there unfortunately.

Making fun of stammerers in such a way is by no means acceptable or appropriate so could you post this on your blog and encourage people to send a complaint to ITV either by phone or email (viewerservices@itv.com), I have already sent mine.


Anonymous said...

They also did something similar to Gareth Gates.


LearningByReading said...

I read that some folks who stutter were often told to shut up in midsentece by a parent or someone they respected.

Pam said...

My father used to yell at me all the time when I was young, age 5, first started stuttering, telling me to shut up if I couldnt talk correctly.

As for media, and anybody for that fact, making fun of stuttering, it seems that stuttering and obesity seem to be the last two things that people think it is acceptable to make fun of. Sad, very sad, but it still happens and probably will continue long after the hype of this movie has died down.

Anonymous said...

I think you should all suck it up and stop being petty. Who cares about this? Ihas gone on since year dot and will continue. Most jokes, skits etc in the world offend someone. Get over it and concentrate on greater things. Really...

Anonymous said...

Hey Tom, You were not invited...


Why Smith, Drayna, De Nil?

(are these 3 peoplethe best brain imaging and speech motor experts in the world?)

This symposium will track current developments in the study of stuttering, the fruit of recent collaborations among researchers in the fields of genetics, speech motor control, and language processing. Until the past decade, much of the research into this common yet poorly understood communication disorder tended to be narrowly focused on accounts within a single discipline, from psychoanalysis to learning theory to articulatory control to hemispheric asymmetry. In this symposium, we will provide examples of the cross-disciplinary research that is changing consensus on the probable basis for stuttering. Recent advances in genetics, brain imaging, and speech motor control will be discussed in terms of their ramifications for better understanding this elusive disorder as well as treating it more effectively.

JD said...

Important question: do you seriously think you understand stuttering and know stuttering better than Smith, Drayna, De Nil?

I think so! You can beat Drayna for sure, Drayna is just a geneticist working on stuttering.

Any human geneticist can work on stuttering and be famous!

wheelchairs said...

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

Anonymous said...

Stuttering is funny. it sounds funny. it looks funny. PERIOD

im a stutterer and i find others funny when they stutter though i dont mean to offend them.

Anything that looks or sounds funny will be laughed at. that doesnt mean we are laughin stock.

Nothin to be ashamed. we need to learn to laugh at ourselves. its a virtue.

Pam said...

To the last anonymous:
yes, we as adults can learn to be more thick-skinned when it comes to not taking mockery or being laughed at so seriously. But it is not so easy for kids who stutter-who are mocked, bullied, excluded, and learn to be ashamed and often choose silence inorder to avoid the negative consequences.
What you propose is hard for adults, but some of us can take that attitude, "oh well, its funny, I can take it, even when a boss laughs at me and rolls his eyes in front of my peers when I stutter". Yea, I guess I should suck that up and learn to take it.
But kids - innocents - who don't have the resources or positive self image yet, and who are often afraid to let adults know this is happening for fear of becoming worse - sorry, we need to stand up for them, and ask people to not mock or ridicule us. Childhood hurts leave lasting scars, as many of us on here know. When a kid who has been shunned and bullied for most of his of her life, and finally has the maturity to be able to attempt to move past it, there is already layers and layers of shame.
You make it sound much easier than it is. Tell a parent of a kid who stutters thats its funny, and people will laugh becasue its funny. I am sure they will fully understand that and agree with you.

Anonymous said...

But it is not so easy for kids who stutter-who are mocked, bullied, excluded, and learn to be ashamed and often choose silence inorder to avoid the negative consequences.

I dont think this happens. I dont know what school or country you are in. Maybe ur in the USA but i thought it was a civilized society. Kids or no kids.

As far as i know.. in school your classmates always support you. 1 or 2 may bully or something but mostly everyone does support you.

Its a simple rule. People/Kids may laugh at you once or twice but once they see your problem they usually understand and support you.

Anonymous said...

I've been very disturbed by those who say it's "something we should accept." The fact is by making fun of stuttering they are gaining power over us because what they are doing is accepted by society. When making fun of a black, blind, wheelchair person, they gain power over you. Essentially, when you make fun of someone for stuttering you are turning the people around the person against him. When you make fun of black, blind, wheelchair people, you are turning the people around them against you. The problem isn't that someone made fun of us once and we're upset, it's that the vast majority of people think it's reasonable.

Anonymous said...

They gain power because you let them. How PC can we go really? Almost all jokes and humour would be banned! What about blondes? rednecks? etc. the vast majority think it is reasonable to mock them. Really take it for what it is .. a joke.

P.S. I do stutter myself and I am quite good at it

Anonymous said...

In my experience at school, it starts with one person and no one else takes your side, then eventually it becomes everyone, especially if that person has a lot of influence.

With rednecks and blondes this logic doesn't apply. I'm assuming you haven't gotten to high school. In high school, I had at least one prank call a week from people I didn't know who found out that I stutter.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have gotten through high school unscathed. Why does the logic not apply to blondes & rednecks (even red heads). They are constantly ridiculed through jokes & media. Some blondes even feel socially inferior because of all the negative attention the recieve? Where will the humour line be drawn? Fair enough I would be offended by a whole show mocking stuttering but a joke here and there is fine. Toughen up people

Anonymous said...

Dr. Weidig, do you realize that this is the second time in a month or so that you've compared being black to having a disability? While I'm sure this isn't intentional, it's rather insulting.

Tom Weidig said...

>> "same fun of blacks or disabled people"

I have compared them in the sense that both may face discrimination. Why is that insulting?

It's clear that my statement only works in non-African countries.

Einar said...

Definetely not funny! I have no problem to laugh myself about my disability but I don´t want other people to find stuttering funny by default. And that´s exactly the problem... Stuttering as such is still seen as funny by default (at least partially). I don´t know why that is (maybe old movies and old cliches play a part), but I simply want that to stop. Disabilities are generally not to be seen as funny by default, nobody with decent ethics will laugh at a blind person or at a parphlegic, or a person with HIV or at someone with Asberger syndrome... but it is widely still seen as ok to find stuttering as such funny. This simply has to stop. Stuttering has to be seen as what it is by the general public, namely a chronic neurologic defect, and has to be taken seriously just as any other defect or disease or disability.
Fortunately things seem to be changing for the good eventually, and "the King´s speech" will surely help to improve public knowledge of the subject.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that you meant to just compare them in the sense that they are groups who face discrimination. Also, I'm honestly not one who takes offense very easily.

It's just that I something about the comparison felt "wrong" to me. When comparing stutterers, people in wheelchairs, and blacks...one of those is not like the other. Two disabilities, one skin color.

I just felt that I had to say something. I still love your blog and appreciate the work you're doing though!