March 5th, 2008 08:41 EST
CBS show 'Big Brother' slams the disabled
CLEARWATER, FL - Family Network on Disabilities of Florida (FND) is today applauding the courageous action of Lowe`s, the home improvement company. Lowe`s announced that they are pulling their advertising from the CBS show Big Brother because of the use of a slur against persons with disabilities by one of the contestants.
Rich La Belle, Executive Director of FND, stated, "Thank you, Lowe`s, for being a great corporate citizen and taking this courageous action." La Belle went on to repeat FND`s call for an apology from CBS, "This show is not a news event that CBS is reporting on. They have complete control over what appears on the air. After all, why do you think they have so many people listed as `editors` and `assistant editors` and `segment producers`? Editors are the definition of control - they control what comes out and what gets left in, just like this slur was left in."
La Belle stated, "The airwaves are owned by we, the people. They`re a public trust and CBS has to be held accountable for allowing this on the air. If this had been a racial slur, CBS would have taken immediate action, like they`ve done in the past. All we`re asking for here is a simple apology. How hard can that be?"
Advertisers and sponsors of the Big Brother episode during which the slur against persons with disabilities was used include some of the biggest household names in the country: Macy`s, Honda, K Mart, Nickelodeon Movies, Winn Dixie, Slim Fast, Quiznos, Pet Smart, Applebee`s, Stouffer`s, V8, JC Penny, Circuit City, Denny`s, Taco Bell, Kohl`s, Visa, Bertolli, Zales, Dell, and Vaseline.
According to La Belle, I think it`s ironic that CBS ran a PSA for HIV awareness during this particular episode and ended the spot with a logo saying `CBS Cares.` They need to show people with disabilities and their families that CBS cares about them, too."
La Belle stated that FND`s call for a boycott will continue until CBS apologizes. "The advertisers and sponsors of Big Brother and CBS should do what Lowe`s did. They should listen to their customers, employees, and viewers who are persons with disabilities and their families. They should do the right thing, just like Lowe`s."