friendly reminder not to support lindt this easter season, or apparently ever again, because they support autism speaks.
can someone please explain why autism speaks is so bad?
because they’re adamant that autism is a disease that can be “cured”. They don’t have a single autistic person on their board. Autism Speaks produces advertisements, small films, ect. about what a burden autistic people are to a society. They only spend about 4% of their money on “family services.” They create a stereotype that makes it hard for actual autistic people, like myself, be heard and recognized as actually autistic. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder before they realized that I actually showed signs of Asperger’s. They don’t actually help us.
That’s the problem with Autism Speaks.
(tw for violence, ableism, abuse, murder, and death)
It goes deeper than not having any autistic board members. Many of the allistics running the organization promote the horrific notion that you’re better off dead than autistic, and their influence and “activism” only supports the ideology resulting in the continued murder of autistic children and adults by their parents and caregivers.
Former Autism Speaks board member Harry Slatkin, whose wife, Laura, continues to serve on the Board of Directors, stated in an interview with Town and Country while still a board member that sometimes he hoped their autistic son David would drown in the backyard pond rather than “suffer like this all his life.” Evidencing a pattern of similarly violent rhetoric, Autism Speaks is also responsible for the 2006 PSA “Autism Every Day" in which their then Vice President states on camera that she considered putting her autistic daughter in the car and driving off a bridge, and that the only reason she refrained from doing so was because her other, non-autistic daughter would have been waiting for her at home—her autistic daughter was in the room as she made these statements. Furthermore, the producer of this PSA explicitly admitted that the film was intentionally staged to portray negative images of autistic people and their families.
Only four days following the release of “Autism Every Day,” pathologist Karen McCarron smothered her autistic daughter with a garbage bag. McCarron stated that she murdered Katie because her “autism had not been improving,” had thought about killing Katie, that made an earlier brief attempt at suffocation, wanted to cure Katie, thought killing Katie would make her “complete” in heaven, and wanted to live without autism and thus had to kill Katie. Investigators found that McCarron was obsessed with different treatments for Katie. (See People v. FRANK-McCARRON, 934 NE 2d 76 - Ill: Appellate Court, 3rd Dist. 2010.) Though it is not presently possible to draw a direct connection between Autism Speaks’ PSA and Katie’s murder, this crime and dozens like it only underscore how the kind of rhetoric that Autism Speaks favors only serves to recklessly endanger the lives of autistic people.
Autism Speaks also publicly supports the Judge Rotenberg Center, a group home for autistic and neurodivergent students that uses “treatments” like food and sleep deprivation and electric shock to try and train the residents into acting neurotypical. The center has changed states three times in an attempt to bypass regulation against abusive treatment, and their practices have resulted in the deaths of more than one student.
It’s not just an issue of Autism Speaks making it harder for us to get proper diagnoses and treatment. Autism Speaks is actively killing us.
I was eyeing up their strawberries and cream lindor the other day but this is more important than delicious chocolate.
Belle will be released in the US on May 2.
Why did you decide to go the route of the Austenesque romance to tell her story?
In so many ways, it’s a romantic love story and it’s a paternal love story as well. It’s as much about her and [her surrogate father] Lord Mansfield, and also the fact that her biological father loved her as well.
It was much more practical in those days, if you had an illegitimate child of color, you could bring them into the household but had to keep them in the servant’s quarters, and have them work with servants where they’d be safe but wouldn’t be a full part of the family. The fact that her father decided that he didn’t want her to be brought up that way and brought her to his uncle [Lord Mansfield] and said, “Love her as I would had I been here,” was important to me.
When I did the research, it surprised me how many people had left Dido money in their will — Lord Mansfield left her money in his will [and] Lady Mary, Lord Mansfield’s sister, also left Dido in her will. The reality of it, then, was that so many people clearly [and] on paper showed their love for Dido that I thought it would have been disingenuous for me to tell a story purely about her suffering and a story that wasn’t about her love.
She had great love. That she married John Davinier, that she was able to baptize all of her children with him in the same church that they married in, I found that that was very romantic and beautiful.
I also wanted to understand, or communicate to the audience, what kind of men would love Dido during this period. Lord Mansfield, who adopted her, and also John [her husband] — what would make them so brave and so courageous enough to be able to love this woman of color during that period?
If I’m honest, I wanted to show a woman of color being loved. We don’t see it that often. I wanted to change the conversation a little bit, change the dialogue a little bit — we are loved, [and] we can be loved. Dido was valuable enough to be loved, she was worthy of being loved, and she was loved. Her challenge was showing people the right way to love her in the way that she needed to be. MORE
Switching gears a bit, how did you make that transition from acting to directing?
I had been writing and producing for quite a while in British television. I wanted to circle my screenplays around some of the things that we’ve discussed — race, gender, and class — and I wasn’t sure that TV was the right place for me to do it.
I had written my first script, A Way of Life — which, thankfully, went on to do quite well critically, and won me a BAFTA and lots of other international awards — and I was very protective of it.
One day, one of my funders at the BFI called me in and said, “Hey. I know you would really like to produce this movie, and that’s all very well, but actually we’d love you to direct it.” I sort of shrunk back into the sofa and said, “No, no. That’s not something I can do. I’m a writer. What I do is write, and this is the best thing I’ve ever written to date, and I don’t want to be the person who ruins it by trying to direct it. This movie is my baby and I’m not going to kill it!”
They were very adamant and said, “Look. You’re not going to kill your movie. We’ll send you to film school for a month” — like a month of film school, what’s that? — “And we’re going to give you some money so that you can shoot a pilot of the movie. We want you do a couple of scenes so you get used to getting behind the camera then we want you to go off and make a movie.”
It took about a month to convince me, to get the courage to accept the offer. Off I went to film school and had one-to-one training with cinematographers, other directors, and editors — I literally had one to one time with all of the heads of department that you’ve have on a real movie, then I went off and shot a pilot. Then I thought, “Wow, I really like this.” Being able to create the characters and then see it through, it felt like, this is what I was born for.MORE
Awesome article on the upcoming film based on the life story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a real noblewoman who lived in 1700s Scotland.
we would LOVE to see women-centric films if they weren’t written and directed by a man with a pretty gross history of abusing them
there are mean parents and then there are parents who switch off the wifi at night
…And to my Cory, this album is for you.
Adam Sandler singing a line from “Grow Old With You” from the Wedding Singer to Drew Barrymore 16 years later (x)
This happened. Our hearts are melted.