Being her primary caregiver leaves me with very little social life, but last month I attended a play that was adapted from one of my favorite novelists, Eric J. Dickey. "Friends and Lovers" ironically was the 1st novel that I had read of his. My best friend was adamant about getting me out of the house, so this "treat" was going to whisk me away from my daily life. Or so I thought.
After the play, I felt the need to write this letter to the producers.
I attended the Feb
17th performance last night . It was thoroughly enjoyable. The sets were
amazing, the scene changes seamless, the audio was A+, & the writing, music
and performances top notch.
However, my only criticism relates to ONE joke
in the show. There is a reference to a character that dated a "RETARDED" girl
and several "RETARDED" jokes. I am the mother to a child with cerebral palsy and
developmental delays, (the new PC term for retarded). Please be mindful that
this segment of our population still struggles for acceptance and placing them
up for ridicule and tasteless humor makes that transition harder.
that it was just a joke, but the lingering sting of insensitivity is still
Perhaps you might add a character to one of your plays with a
physical disability to help with the societal perceptions. Give them the dignity
that they so richly deserve.
Remember, this is a group that may not be able
to speak for themselves.
God bless you all in your future endeavors. I look
forward to attending more of your productions in the future.
(Sepialove) <--inserted real name
PS. I thought of a positive spin to the joke. What if the character says: "You know I loved that girl." (HIM) "What happened with her?" (HER) "We broke up ... she said I wasn't BRIGHT enough to be with her!" (HIM)
That changes the context in a way that gives the "RETARDED"
girl the upper hand and creates more folly for the character he is pursuing.
Just a thought.
My friend thought I was being too sensitive at the time, but having a challenged person in her family made her almost immuned to the harshness of society's scrutiny. Maybe I am too close to this subject to see these and other "jokes" about "RETARDED" people. I really don't think so. I also jotted an email to Mr Dickey himself. No reply.
I did finally get a nice email back from the producer. Will he change the joke? I don't know. But my heart feel lighter for my efforts.
I am speaking for thousands of African American parents of children that have disabilities when I say that the messages that we send into the public arena are extremely critical as it relates to inclusion and acceptance of disabled individuals. I think I can rest easy tonight. Another battle will have to wait till later today.
Good night. ;)