Should we laugh at disability? I’d like to make myself clear… I believe teasing, taunting and mean spirited gestures have NO place in our world. But is there such thing as “good clean funny”? Sarah Palin was outraged at Family Guy when the character Chris dated a girl with Down Syndrome, but Andrea Friedman, the actress who voiced the girl has Down Syndrome herself and is an advocate for people with disabilities. Friedman said herself she felt a good sense of humor is healthy and that she positively portrayed a person with a disability.
I have to agree. Her cartoon character was independent and anything but stereotypical, which added to the comedy… and reality. If some groups should be left out of comedy how will they ever experience true equality? I think that, like the boom in stereotypical gay guys in 1990s, it "normalizes" the experience. I do believe that the growth in representation of gays in the 1990s helped that group experienced the growth in acceptance that it did in the ‘90s and ‘00s. It’s not all good and there is always room for more appropriate representations, but comedy and humor are natural extensions of life, they are equalizers. If you exempt a group from healthy ridicule, you exempt them from equality. But that's just my opinion.
What do you think? Should disability be funny?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roogi/242676084/