Telethon Protests

“Pity? You don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!”
For many years, disability advocates have protested the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon because host Jerry Lewis preys on the audience’s pity and portrays people with disabilities as tragic and helpless. This shocking comment by Lewis in May 2001 inspired protests – and protest websites – nationwide. Here are some of the best.
[Editor’s Note: These protest sites were in full swing just prior to Labor Day (when the Telethon is broadcast), 2001. We can’t promise that they’ll hang around.]
Crip Commentary’s protest page
Crip Commentator Laura Hershey offers an awesome collection of anti-Telethon resources, including links to local protests, an audio version of Lewis’ comments (and disability activists’ responses), late-breaking news, suggestions for protest organizers, and much more.
D.R. Nation: ‘Pityfests’ a thing of the past? Maybe
A hard hitting article from a 1997 issue of Ragged Edge magazine.
We typically don’t give much credence to “anonymous” websites (i.e., where the author or sponsor is not indicated), but we’ll make an exception for This “anti-Telethon” site includes advice on protesting the Telethon, FAQs, comment boards, a great guide to other anti-Telethon resources on the web, and more. Don’t forget to sign the petition before you leave.
Related Subjects
Disability Awareness
Disability Culture
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