Columbia Pictures: Apologize for Autism Slur in "21 Jump Street"
Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment 10202 W. Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232 Attention: Mr. Douglas Belgrad, President Ms. Marisa McGrath, Senior Vice President, National Theatrical Publicity It is with the greatest sense of disappointment, frustration and sadness that I speak out against your production company’s remake of “21 Jump Street”. I just previewed a trailer of this movie (https://bitly.com/autism_apology) which makes a mockery of Autism. In doing so, it offends the more than 1.5 million individuals across the United States and Canada who suffer from this serious developmental disorder. Are you aware that 1 out of every 110 children in the US is afflicted by Autism? The prognosis for the majority of these individuals is bleak to say the least. Most of them will not marry. Due to limited or even non-existent social and verbal skills, many individuals on the Autism Spectrum find it difficult or even impossible to establish or maintain friendships. Social stigmas make securing or holding down a job extremely challenging. Autism is no laughing matter. Parent of children with Autism mourn every day for their children who have been lost to the grips of Autism. They lie awake every night wondering who will take care of their babies once they grow old and are no longer there for them. Your movie’s so-called “joke” is insensitive, offensive and hurtful. Through websites like AutismBeacon.com, advocates do their best to raise awareness, dispel myths and help shape society’s views about Autism. Getting the message out is difficult, to say the least, so when the mass appeal of a popular movie like “21 Jump Street” in less than a minute undermines everything advocates are trying so earnestly to change, I am sure you can appreciate how disheartening this can be. I look forward to a response from you and request that you issue a public apology to all individuals on the Autism Spectrum, and to their families for this distasteful and disrespectful slur. I would also request that you consider making a donation to a registered Autism charity that as part of its mandate, promotes Autism awareness.