Friday, 10 February 2012

C4 Acts in Good Taste! NOT

Dear Theresa,

I am dismayed by the announcement that C4 is commissioning a series of it's Pilot Comedy Show "I'm Spazticus".

Some people may say that it is only a TV programme, but some of us in the disabled community have recognised the huge damage done to the reputation of disabled people in general and wheelchair users in particular, by the comedy show "Little Britain". Is it any wonder that the disabled get portrayed as benefit scroungers, if misleading stereotypes are depicted by the media without challenge? In fact, it appears to be being broadcast in tandem with the Paralympics. Is this to provide a counterpoint for society against the heroics of our disabled athletes and undermine the disabled community?

I personally find the title offensive. Would you allow a show referring to ethnic or sexual orientation in such an offensive way to be Broadcast?

Finally, following the success of the "I am Spartacus" Campaign, I find it to be in political and moral bad taste and just another attempt to marginalise the disabled of this country. The Pilot show was Broadcast in 2005. Has it really taken 7 years to commission a series after that or is it just an attempt to cash in on the visibility of the disabled in 2012, with an offensively titled show?

I have no issues with an attempt to include disabled people in society, show the day to day barriers they encounter, highlight society's attitudes (good and bad) towards disabled people and provide opportunities to disabled people. However, I object very strongly to this show. Disabled people are not put on this earth for others to laugh at and be entertained by their plight.

I am aware that Ian Dury, who was himself disabled, used the term "Spasticus" but in a different context to this show and spelt it correctly. I contend that this use was very different to the use intended by C4 but do not dare to attempt to consider what his view might have been. I do not seek to speak for him as I do not consider myself worthy of that.

It should be noted that I have watched the pilot show.

Do you have any views on this?

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jones

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