Dave Itzkoff

Family Guy, Sarah Palin, and the limits of laughter

‘Family Guy,’ Palin and the Limits of Laughter

This is an excellent piece by New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff.

Andrea Fay Friedman has her act together as does Gail Williamson, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles:

“Within ‘Family Guy,’ the character was fully included, well-rounded, dynamic, not dealing with stereotypical Down syndrome issues,” Ms. Williamson said. She added: “Am I a fan of that kind of humor? Eh. It’s beside the point.”

“If we’re asking for full inclusion in the schools and full inclusion in the world,” she said, “ we should appreciate full inclusion with other genres. Even if those genres are not what we appreciate.”

The unfortunate part of this situation is that most people are not clued in to the more nuanced issues here which Gail Williamson speak to. The way Palin speaks of her son Trig and has complained that Family Guy crossed a line isn’t really “PC” (politically correct), it’s knee jerk professional victim/sympathy vote stuff. Friedman speak to this:

“My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.”

In the same sense that many thought the country was “post racial” with Obama’s election, it seems that some might think the country is “post disability” as more people with disabilities are fully included. Like the race issue, this issue is complex and has high profile people like Palin who are skilled at playing the victim card for her son and for herself.