In an interview on The Guardian website, the comedian Ricky Gervais wonders why people are worried that his new comedy ‘Life’s Too Short’ will be a “cruel comedy” and “…that people confuse the subject of the joke with the target of the joke…”.
Well Mr Gervais, when you have been the butt of jokes – in the media, in entertainment, by lazy comedians, stereotyped in a particular way as group of people to be mocked or as mythical beings, forgive the dwarf community for being more than a bit sensitive when a new comedy comes out that appears to laugh at a man because of his dwarfism. You may not feel that you should be held responsible for idiots who take your satirised bigotry as red. As you are not the one who’ll be walking down the street the tomorrow and have that bigoted quote, or particular part of a sketch carried out on you because it was part of the show. Because you know, that 20-year old kid with a mobile phone will think we are game to be filmed, shared on YouTube and because, hey, Warwick, doesn’t appear to mind being laughed at when Ricky puts him in a frog costume (as you can see from this excruciating preview clip), so why doesn’t the person with restricted growth in front of me not think it’s hilarious to be filmed too?
Granted, I have yet to see the show, I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Your intentions maybe to get people think while laugh with your comedy, however, have you ever wondered if it was actually your place to do that or that you should have taken such a central role for our particular disabled group? Especially considering your approval and then subsequent back-track and apology (due to his chat with Nicola Clark) of using derogative disabilist term (that I have no wish to mention on this blog)? This particular lack of awareness scares me that you have been entrusted with portraying our particular community. This doesn’t make me a ‘hater’ or ‘envious of your success’, it makes me scared to walk down the street. Are you really laughing with us disabled people? Or like the prejudice we face at all levels, at us? Life’s Too Short will tell.
[ad#HLL Link Only]