Radar ran an article and photo of the protest by disability rights activists about Jerry Lewis receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award this Sunday at the Oscars.
Why the protest?
via Tell Oscar- NO humanitarian award for Jerry Lewis! on Facebook:
During his decades of hosting the Labor Day Telethon, Jerry Lewis has helped to perpetuate negative, stereotypical attitudes toward people with muscular dystrophy and other disabilities. Jerry Lewis and the Telethon actively promote pity as a fundraising strategy. Disabled people want RESPECT and RIGHTS, not pity and charity.
In 1990, Lewis wrote that if he had muscular dystrophy and had to use a wheelchair, he would "just have to learn to try to be good at being a half a person." During the 1992 Telethon, he said that people with MD, whom he always insists on calling "my kids," "cannot go into the workplace. There's nothing they can do." Comments like these have led disability activists and our allies to protest against Jerry Lewis, and against the Telethon. We've argued that the Telethon promotes pity, a counterproductive emotion which undermines our social equality. Here's how Lewis responded to the Telethon protesters during a 2001 television interview: "Pity? You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!"
On February 22, 2009, we won't be staying in our houses watching the Academy Awards. We'll be publicly objecting to this award. We'll be defending our own humanity against this so-called "humanitarian."
For more information go to The Trouble with Jerry
There is an online petition you can sign in support of the protest.
A link to photos from the protest has been posted up at The Trouble with Jerry. You can find photos here.
You can also follow the protest on Twitter at notjerryskids