Over the weekend (31 July) the Matt Davies (Newsday) commentary you see here appeared in the Bangkok Post ed/op pages (ask your parents). A few days later, this comment appeared in the Post’s “letters to the editor” section:
“I consider the content of that cartoon extremely vicious. Cartoonists who mock mental issues are treading on dangerous ground. I am not an American citizen.”
Well, clearly the writer had misinterpreted the cartoon, so rather than leave other readers with the impression that the cartoon was “vicious,” I offer a different perspective in a letter published in the Post today (3 August):
The Bangkok Post this week also ran a story from The New York Times regarding a study by the nonprofit, RespectAbility, and Nielsen, the big ratings company. The story had some good news about increased inclusivity in media over the last decade, but the numbers I took away from the story were not so rosy.
According to the report, “about one in every four adults in the United States has a physical or psychological disability.” OK, that’s roughly 25 percent of the adult population. However, only 3,000 out of the 90,000 evaluated movies and TV shows (released over the last century, since 1920) were viewed as having “significant disability themes or content.”
That’s between 3 and 4 percent. Obviously the industry must do better. The media must do better. We all must do better to understand and celebrate our differences.