The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it will award Jerry Lewis the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the upcoming Oscar award ceremony. Please join disabled people and our allies in protesting this.
Jerry Lewis’s MDA Telethon, rather than working for equality and social inclusion of disabled people, portrays us as hopeless, pathetic, eternal children. Lewis has said, “My kids cannot go into the workplace. There’s nothing they can do.” He has said that a disabled individual is “half a person,” and [If] you don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair, stay in your house!” His telethon reinforces the notion that cure and prevention are what disabled people need, not social change. The LBGT community has protested Lewis’s numerous anti-gay slurs–recently, he referred to cricket as “fag baseball.” Lewis has also stated that he doesn’t like women comedians because he thinks of a woman as “a producing machine that bring babies into the world.” These statements are de-humanizing; the one who uttered them should hardly be given a humanitarian award.
Please sign a petition protesting this at:Jerry Lewis Protest and please forward this email to others. It has been less than a week since we put this petition online, and it has already gathered more than 1900 signatures–including that of Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer!
You can also join a Facebook group devoted to protests against Jerry’s award. Also read what is being said by other Bloggers Protesting Pity. Or write a letter directly to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
I first found this email from Anne Finger at Planet of the Blind.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
People with disabilities are not the only people who are offended at Jerry Lewis receiving a humanitarian award. GLBT people object to the idea because Jerry has made homophobic slurs. Read more at http://www.altfg.com/blog/actors/jerry-lewis-gay-slur-controversy/
Bev at Asperger Square 8 has once again lent her visual talents by combining pictures of Jerry with some of his more insidious quotes about people with disabilities. At http://aspergersquare8.blogspot.com/2009/01/protest-pity.html
Learn more about Jerry Lewis’ humanitarian award and the petition campaign protesting against it at https://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/protest-pity-sign-the-petition/ or by following the links at https://reunifygally.wordpress.com/bloggers-protesting-pity/
Consider signing the petition protesting the award at
http://www.petitiononline.com/jlno2009/petition.html You can significantly strengthen the impact of your petition signature by using the comments line to explain IN YOUR OWN WORDS why you object to the award. (Don’t let the tiny comments space in the petition fool you. You can actually fit in several full sentences, if you wish.)
And consider joining the Facebook group so you can learn about other ways to get involved: http://www.facebook.com/groups.php#/group.php?gid=40538392681Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
People in the Deaf, Autistic, Muscular Dystrophy, and Disability communities will be gathering in Los Angeles, California, USA, near February 22, 2009, to tell the Oscar awards organizers that human rights is more helpful to people with disabilities than pity or charity.
If you didn’t already know, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it will give Jerry Lewis its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on February 22, 2009. This award primarily recognizes his years of work raising money through his annual telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Disability activists, including many who have muscular dystrophy, object to this award because Jerry has perpetuated negative stereotypes of people with disabilities. Yes, he also raised money for research–research that some among the protesters may support. But their message is that the end does not justify the means. Jerry could have, and should have, chosen fund raising tactics that would not do so much destruction to the efforts of disability rights advocates to gain recognition for the fundamental dignity and value of people with disabilities. By projecting us as pathetic, helpless creatures, Jerry’s tactics has made it harder for usto be judged on our actual merits for the jobs we apply for–rather than on other people’s mistaken assumptions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do.
Read more in the announcement below that was recently circulated among members of the Facebook Group organizing these protests against Jerry’s award. If you haven’t already, you may also wish to sign the on-line petition protesting Jerry’s award.
Subject: UPDATE: Oscar Protests Being Planned
Put it on your calendar! Actions are currently being planned to take place before and during the Academy Awards ceremony. Can you come to Los Angeles to participate in two BIG actions on Oscar weekend, February 20 and 21? Can you organize a local action in your community on or around February 22?
If you want to be part of the protest at the Oscars in LA, now is the time to make airline reservations and other travel arrangements. Plan to be in LA at least 2/20 and 2/21, and 2/22 if possible. We’ll send out information soon about a nearby accessible hotel, and about the specifics of the protest actions.
If you want to organize an action at a local Oscar party or other appropriate target, get the ball roling now! Find local Oscar events — perhaps sponsored by your local film society, charity, or media outlet. (Try a Google search with the terms “2009 Oscar party [your city name].”) Talk to local disability, LGBT, and feminist activist/advocacy groups. Even if you can only get a dozen or so people involved, you may be able to pull off a great action, and get some press coverage to raise public awareness. Stay tuned for more tips on organizing a local protest…
Jerry Lewis advised his critics to “stay in your house!” Whether you come to LA, or do a local action, you’ll be letting Lewis — and everyone else — know that you’re not going to let prejudice, ignorance, and shame keep you inside your house, OR keep you quiet!
Learn about protest planning and other activities through the Facebook group organizing action against Jerry’s humanitarian award: http://www.facebook.com/groups.php#/group.php?gid=40538392681
Sign the on-line petition protesting Jerry’s award. You are encouraged to use the comment line in the petition to explain why you have chosen to sign the petition: this will strengthen the value of your signature: http://www.petitiononline.com/jlno2009/petition.html
See what bloggers have been saying about Jerry’s award:
Learn more about why people with disabilities object to the tactics Jerry uses to raise money via his annual telethon: http://www.cripcommentary.com/LewisVsDisabilityRights.html
And also see many excellent blog posts from last year at: http://karasheridan.com/?p=164
An increasing number of bloggers are encouraging their readers to sign the petition protesting Jerry Lewis’ humanitarian award, and also to join the Facebook group coordinating protests against a man who has helped entrench negative stereotypes of all people with disabilities–and Deaf people. Here are a few of the most recent examples below. Or, read the full list of links by clicking on the page Bloggers Protesting Pity in the top navigation bar.
Confused what this is all about? Jerry Lewis, the man who runs the annual telethon raising money for research into Muscular Dystrophy is about to receive a humanitarian award. Many Deaf people, Autistic people, people with Muscular Dystrophy, and people with all disabilities strongly object to this decision. Has Jerry raised money for charity? Yes, lots of it. But these funds come with a heavy price tag: the manner in which Jerry raises these funds generate pity for people with disabilities in ways that reinforce outdated stereotypes. These stereotypes make it harder, among other things, for job applicants to be judged on their genuine qualifications for the job instead of on mistaken beliefs about what people with disabilities can and cannot do. Read on to learn more …
Petition regarding disabilities and their perceptions…
Has a few links to web pages and blog posts that explain why some people with disabilities dislike Jerry’s annual telethon and quotes some of the negative things Jerry has said (such as referring to wheelchair users as “half a person,” etc.)
Jerry Lewis the Humanitarian?
Includes the full text of the petition (and a link to it). The introductory blurb, among other things, says: “How many of us cringe when someone feels “terrible” that we are LPs/deaf/chair users/learning disabled/autistic/etc? That cringe is what this petition is giving voice to.”
Jerry Lewis to be Presented with Humanitarian Award
Encourages people to sign the petition, saying “… [I]t seems kind of strange and wildly offensive that someone might receive a humanitarian award after having referred to the people he “helps” as not fully human ….”
Petition to cancel humanitarian award for Jerry Lewis
In addition to presenting the text of the petition, this author also recommends a book to read analyzing how telethons promote discrimination and negative images of people with disabilities.
Please do remember to sign the petition protesting Jerry Lewis’ humanitarian award. And please also join the Facebook group coordinating the protests against this “humanitarian” award. Also, check the full list of links about the protests by clicking on the page Bloggers Protesting Pity in the top navigation bar.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )