Popular 'Comedian' and the Ugly Face of Disability Discrimination

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GBF23
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Apr 20 2012 14:19

diddy-d,sorry for any offence, none intended.

just to be clear, steven does not vouch for me personally,we do not kmow each other IRL. he is speaking as an admin who, for his sins, reads a massive amount of stuff on here and therefore gets a feel for where posters are coming from. He is spot on with the "joke"though.

a couple of points from re reading the thread,
first, I was one of the people who supported your OP.
and also apart from Gervais the only person abused on that thread was Me and I only pointed that out to mess with Revol's head which I think the admins will agree is acceptable practice on here smile

Sir Arthur Stre...
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Apr 20 2012 15:33

Taken in isolation Derek can be seen as an attempt to show that disabled people are normal too. But Gervais has chosen to play a character that is so obviously disabled that he has just created a ham-fisted stereotype.
Current attitudes towards disability involve lumping all disabled into one homogenous other. Mental and physical disabilities that are not clearly visible must therefore be fraudulent as we are told that being disabled means being wheelchair bound or obvious inability to function 'normally'. Gervais has pandered to this viewpoint and I think if his character had a so-called 'hidden disability' then he would have a good point to make.
Though 'mong' is clearly an offensive term, Derek is the very definition of a 'mong', so it seems like Gervias is saying, 'this guy's a mong but thats ok because hes got a heart of gold.'

We don't need a comedy showing that disabled stereotypes are like 'normal' people in the same way as we don't need a primitive black-faced comedian to tackle racism.

Derek (or the one episode Ive actually watched!) seems pretty confused in its attempt to deal with disabled discrimination. So either its a shit comedy or Gervais doesn't understand the wide range of disability that people have to deal with.

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Diddy-D
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Apr 20 2012 15:40
GBF23 wrote:
diddy-d,sorry for any offence, none intended.

just to be clear, steven does not vouch for me personally,we do not kmow each other IRL. he is speaking as an admin who, for his sins, reads a massive amount of stuff on here and therefore gets a feel for where posters are coming from. He is spot on with the "joke"though.

a couple of points from re reading the thread,
first, I was one of the people who supported your OP.
and also apart from Gervais the only person abused on that thread was Me and I only pointed that out to mess with Revol's head which I think the admins will agree is acceptable practice on here :)

Okay mate. Thanks for your reply. Now I know where you are coming from, it's all good. I'm sorry as well, for getting it wrong, and calling you out on it.

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Apr 20 2012 16:28

Seeing that clip makes me want to revise my opinion about Derek. Clearly we're not laughing with the autograph-hunter or his innocent charm here, and they are essentially the same character, outwardly at least.

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Apr 20 2012 16:31

Watched it for as long as i could (about 15 mins), didn't like it. Not funny, and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Gervais said that Derek didn't have learning difficulties, because if he had, Gervais would have made sure someone with Learning Difficulties would have played the part (he feels he can say that because he had someone in a wheelchair play someone in a wheelchair, and a dwarf play a dwarf, which proves his credentials beyond doubt).

The difference between Derek and Bubbles is that Bubbles breaks stereotypes (he's a dirty sweary bastard, he's not a victim any more than anyone else, he's a leader not a follower). Same with the priests in Father Ted (which remember was first written for an Irish audience), Frank Spencer (weirdo but could still pull a hottie like Betty and be a good dad) etc.etc. Derek just reinforced stereotypes (people with LD's are childlike and nice all the time, and a bit cringy/creepy when they fall in love with 'normal people')

What was the point of it? Compare it to Louis Theroux's Extreme Love shown on Thursday - did everything Derek tried to do but did it with real, 3-Dimensional people that you cared about. Showed that kids with autism can be fucking nightmares that put massive strain on their parents, and any parents who are strong enough to handle it deserve massive respect. Extreme Love was not only sadder and had more pathos than Derek, it was also funnier.

EGADS
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Apr 20 2012 16:53

I actually saw this article in a copy of the Daily Hate Mail itself and lo and behold, on the opposite page was the column for none other than Anders Breivik's favourite Mail hack, Melanie Phillips - and the same day as when his trial started.

So, to put things in perspective, how many proto-fascist, murderous gunmen has Gervais inspired? roll eyes

isawamouse
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Apr 21 2012 09:27
EGADS wrote:
I actually saw this article in a copy of the Daily Hate Mail itself and lo and behold, on the opposite page was the column for none other than Anders Breivik's favourite Mail hack, Melanie Phillips - and the same day as when his trial started.

So, to put things in perspective, how many proto-fascist, murderous gunmen has Gervais inspired? roll eyes

that's a poor comparison though. the two things are not connected. although the original poster linked to an article in the daily mail, i doubt anyone who is criticising gervais in this thread is a rabid daily mail reader. rather, just expressing their own opinions. in addition to the show being shit, it was also in rather bad taste.

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Apr 21 2012 10:21
Diddy-D wrote:
This I believe is an abusive post, and I have reported it to admin. I construe it as a direct attack on me. If you have suffered mental distress, and be abused for it, you might well feel differently ya know.

I construe this as an abusive post and I have reported it to admin. I construe it as a direct attack on anyone capable of empathy. If you have been able to comprehend that other people might be different without being wrong then you might well feel differently ya know.

A lot of your posts, especially at first seem to start from the viewpoint that as you've suffered mental distress you are an authority, and worse, that you should be treated as such, and also you are assuming that everyone else who hasn't mentioned any kind of mental distress hasn't experienced it and has no understanding. This has helped lead you to make kneejerk reactions assuming that others are wrong or prejudiced. On the bright side you've now started listening to other people on the thread. This is how a lot of people start out on libcom and message boards in general, sadly most don't go any further.

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Apr 21 2012 13:33

@ jef costello.

Well I've made peace with the individuals concerned, and it's all cool. What you're hoping to achieve with this post, I'm not too sure. No need to fan the flames, eh. It's not what comrades do, surely?

On that note, in the 'politics of the privileged' thread, I posted that peeps in developing nations tend to have a lower incidence of severe mental illness, and that their recovery rate tends to be higher. You stated that I had made the assertion, without any evidence. I then went on to cite two major studies conducted by the World Health Organization, over several decades, as evidence.

I wonder if you would care to comment constructively on that, in that thread?

And on the bright side, yes I am staying, and yes I am going further.

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Apr 21 2012 20:24
EGADS wrote:
I actually saw this article in a copy of the Daily Hate Mail itself and lo and behold, on the opposite page was the column for none other than Anders Breivik's favourite Mail hack, Melanie Phillips - and the same day as when his trial started.

So, to put things in perspective, how many proto-fascist, murderous gunmen has Gervais inspired? roll eyes

To be fair though, we do live in a society in which disabled people face greatly increased rates of abuse, poverty, murder and so on, and that does in part have to deal with popular portrayals of disability. Including, of course, demonisation of disabled people in the hatefull rag you mention.

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Apr 21 2012 21:56
Diddy-D wrote:
What you're hoping to achieve with this post, I'm not too sure.

Me neither really. I was quite annoyed with some of your posts and amused by the fact that you then backed down. Pleased as well, I'd rather see someone accept others' arguments' and explanations than arguments. Mainly I started writing it and then even though half of it wasn't really necessary I still posted it, another bad habit on the internet.

Quote:
On that note, in the 'politics of the privileged' thread, I posted that peeps in developing nations tend to have a lower incidence of severe mental illness, and that their recovery rate tends to be higher. You stated that I had made the assertion, without any evidence. I then went on to cite two major studies conducted by the World Health Organization, over several decades, as evidence.

I wonder if you would care to comment constructively on that, in that thread

I posted on the thread but I think it droped off the tracker while I was on holiday. To be fair if you don't care enough about a thread to go back and read responses to your posts then you have to ask what the point of making them was. I'll have a look for the thread later on.

EGADS
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Apr 23 2012 17:15
RedEd wrote:
To be fair though, we do live in a society in which disabled people face greatly increased rates of abuse, poverty, murder and so on, and that does in part have to deal with popular portrayals of disability. Including, of course, demonisation of disabled people in the hatefull rag you mention.

I will admit that my post was a very cheap shot, but only to point out the hypocrisy of the Mail itself(the paper that has the biggest axe to grind against the disabled) trying to pretend it cared about the disabled oh-so-much. As for Gervais...I think he's an unfunny, smug twunt who strives to be "controversial" and all that wank(particularly in this routine, for example). However, I can't comment on Derek as I haven't seen it.

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Apr 24 2012 06:46

Anyways, it's all good.

We all suffer under capital, whether we have disabilities or not. And I am confident that the peeps here care about the disabled. I would rather trust an anarchist to have compassion, than a bourgeois, any day smile

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Apr 24 2012 09:36

Can I just say on a related note I couldn't believe it when the guy in the wheelchair in Glee got up and started dancing around.

In 2011, having a TV character in a wheelchair played by someone who isn't a wheelchair user, just absolutely shocking, and no excuse. It's as bad as this: