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Friday, March 16, 2012

"Autistic" as a Slur

At The Examiner, Melissa Teodorovic writes about the trailer for 21 Jump Street (the slur is at 3:38):
The trailer for the movie 21 Jump Street was recently released, and even though some moments appeared to be funny, the laughs ended for many, when Ice Cube's character attempted to insult another by asking him if he was "autistic". The "joke" has upset many parents of children with autism, as well as many adults on the spectrum. Some have expressed that they fear it will potentially make way for others (especially young people) to think that it's acceptable to call someone "autistic" in order to insult their intelligence.
Many parents have also felt let down over the fact that the movie features a cameo by Holly Robinson Peete, who is not only a mother to a child with autism, but also an active member of Autism Speaks, and an advocate for children with autism. Many have wondered how she feels, and why she would be a part of a movie that would try to make fun of autism. She recently responded to this question by saying that the line was not in the script she read, and that the cast ad-libbed a lot of the scenes, she also added that, "autism is SO not a punchline"
See the Facebook boycott page.

"Political autism" has sometimes cropped up as a term of abuse, mostly in Britain, though sometimes in the United States.