That Down’s Syndrome Girl

by Kiko Matsing

I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.

(voice actor Andrea Fay Friedman on playing the Down’s Syndrome character in Family Guy)

No Andrea. You were poking fun at both mother and son. The only context that Sarah Palin’s name would be dropped in that joke is as a mother of a Down’s Syndrome child.

That is not to say that I did not find the episode pee-in-your-pants funny, even though I myself have a younger brother with the same condition. I love Family Guy, and that’s partly because there’s nothing beneath them as far as who they aim their blistering satire at. I look forward to squirming in my seat every time I tune in. Chris has a date with a Down’s Syndrome woman who turns out to be this total bitch? Why not? They’re real people too, with real failings like everyone else. Andrea is absolutely right: we have to be able to laugh at ourselves, and not take things too seriously. That goes for this whole stupid PC discourse on the the use of the word “retarded”. Let’s not police speech, but fight speech with speech.

While we’re cutting Family Guy some slack, I would also extend Sarah Palin the same. She’s probably just being an overprotective mom, especially with son Trig. Let’s not impute jaded political motives on maternal love. That’s just re…, er, cynical.

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