Sarah Palin, the self-appointed Mother Superior of Down’s syndrome, has been at it again, this time describing an episode of Family Guy featuring a character with Down’s syndrome that made reference to being her daughter as “another kick in the gut”.
I haven’t seen the Family Guy episode, it has not aired in the UK yet as far as I’m aware, but I have watched the clips on YouTube and I just don’t get what Palin is upset about.
So a character with Down’s syndrome states that her mother is the former governor of Alaska – big deal. How is that insulting to people with Down’s syndrome, or Trig or Sarah Palin? Am I missing something here? Seriously, I fail to see how this is mocking Trig Palin or in any way damaging to people with special needs, and I’ve just watched Palin trying to explain it herself
Even the Down syndrome girl song is extremely tame by Family Guy standards, and as Logan at Disposable writes , from what I have seen the show pretty much normalised Down’s syndrome.
Palin’s criticism appears to suggest that featuring a character with Down’s syndrome on this sort of show is, by definition, offensive (unless it is satire of course), while some of the reports supporting Palin’s view also appear to have jumped to conclusions.
“Comedic mimicry of retarded people is obnoxious,” states the Gawker. Which is true except, there’s that R word again, and besides – where was the mimicry?
The character in question was played by Andrea Fay Friedman – an actress with Down’s syndrome, who had this to say : “I thought the line was very funny. I think the word is ‘sarcasm.’”
Friedman also said this:
“In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Gov. Palin carries her son Trig around, looking for sympathy and votes.”